Losses widen at Ineos shale company

Ineos Upstream, the company holding the largest number of shale gas licences in England, declared a loss of £3.679m in 2021. This was up more than 60% on the loss of £2.279m the year before.

Ineos licences (blue) and interests in other licences (orange). Markers show three potential sites, none of which have planning permission. Source: Ineos website, 28 September 2022

The company’s accounts, published this month, were finalised before the government lifted the moratorium on fracking in England.

But Ineos Upstream, whose aim is unconventional gas extraction, said it:

“aspires to quickly but deliberately explore onshore opportunities in the UK and rapidly developing producing assets where that exploration is successful, upon lifting of the moratorium.”

It also said it:

“looks forward to the coming years with optimism in developing near term resources in a safe, reliable and profitable manner.”

Ineos Upstream Limited is part of the Ineos group, largely owned by Sir James Ratcliffe, and is dependent on intercompany loans for its working capital. The accounts show that Ineos Upstream had loans totalling more than £194m.


The accounts, for the year ending 31 December 2021, said the focus of the business was now its 40% interest in the Springs Road site, at Misson in Nottinghamshire. This site is operated by IGas and currently has no planning permission.

Another Nottinghamshire shale gas site, at Tinker Road, in which Ineos Upstream had a 45% interest, has been restored to farmland after drilling missed the Bowland shale. The licence (PEDL200) has been relinquished.

One proposed Ineos shale gas site in South Yorkshire was refused planning permission this year. Planning permission lapsed at another two in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire before any work was carried out.


Data from the North Sea Transition Authority shows that Ineos Upstream Limited is now the operator and has 100% control of 23 exploration and development licences in England: PEDL120, PEDL272, PEDL280, PEDL282, PEDL283, PEDL284, PEDL285, PEDL289, PEDL291, PEDL292, PEDL294, PEDL296, PEDL299, PEDL300, PEDL301, PEDL303, PEDL304, PEDL307, PEDL308, PEDL309, PEDL311, PEDL332, PEDL349.

The company is the operator of six more licences in which other companies (IGas and Cuadrilla) have an interest: EXL273, PEDL145, PEDL162, PEDL193, PEDL293, PEDL295.

It also has interests in licences operated by IGas companies (PEDL012, PEDL139, PEDL140, PEDL147, PEDL184, PEDL189, PEDL190, PEDL210, PEDL273, PEDL305, PEDL316) and the Cuadrilla group (PEDL287, PEDL342, PEDL288, PEDL346).

Another Ineos company, Ineos 120 Exploration Limited, has transferred its interest in PEDL120 in North Yorkshire to Ineos Upstream Limited.

The ultimate parent company of Ineos Upstream is Ineos Limited, a company incorporated in the Isle of Man.

The immediate parent company is Ineos Upstream Holdings limited. Its accounts, also published this month, show it made a profit of more than £459m in 2021, compared with a loss of more than £326m in 2020. (The difference is explained by an impairment reversal.)

Key figures

Ineos Upstream Limited year ended 31 December 2021

Revenue: £1,000 (2020 £263,000)

Cost of sales: £1,209,000 (2020 £1,081,000)

Admin expenses: £2,306,000 (2020 £1,229,000)

Operating loss: £3,514,000 (2020 £2,047,000)

Loss for the financial year: £3,679,000 (2020 £2,279,000)

Total assets: £2,707,000 (2020 £3,677,000)

Net liabilities: £211,796,000 (2020 £208,117,000)

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA): -£3,514,000 (2020 £2,047,000)

Normalised EBITDA: £1,299,000 (2020 £1,825,000)

Dividend: No payment (2020 £nil)

Estimated decommissioning and restoration costs of exploration sites: £19,975,000 (2020 £17,545,000)

Deferred tax assets: £72,424,000 (2020 £62,413,000)

Cash at bank: £2,319,000 (2020 £2,855,000

Non-current loans from Ineos group: £191,243,000 (2020 £191,243,000)

Current loans from Ineos group: £2,979,000 (2020 £2,597,000)

Interest charged on loans with Ineos Industries Holdings Limited: £nil (2020 £nil)

3 replies »

  1. Maybe they will need to cut back on the £millions they donate to good causes, perhaps pull back from buying Man. Utd. and reduce their funding of restaurants?

    Or, perhaps, maintaining a UK interest in fracking is somewhat cheaper than purchasing some ships?

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