Petrochemical company Ineos has bought the majority share in a second licence for shale gas exploration and development in Scotland.
On Monday, the company announced it had bought 80% of a licence covering 400sqkm of the Midland Valley in Scotland from Reach Coal Seam Gas Limited.
The British Geological Survey has estimated there are “significant” shale gas deposits in the area covering large parts of North Lanarkshire and Falkirk.
It comes after the company announced it had bought a 51% stake in a licence covering 329sqkm around their Grangemouth refinery.
The company now has fracking rights for 729sqkm around Grangemouth and Cumbernauld.
Ineos will now fund appraisal of the site to see if the shale gas can be economically extracted.
The company is working with specialists from America to find a way to safely extract the shale gas.
CEO Gary Haywood said: "I am delighted to have concluded this deal in Scotland, which is a very good fit with our existing licence interest in the adjoining PEDL 133. We are keen to move quickly to evaluate the potential of this resource, and determine if we can economically produce gas from this area.
"If we can, it will provide a local source of competitive energy and raw materials to support manufacturing jobs in Scotland. Our recent commitment to share the benefits of the gas production with the landowners and the community will also bring significant local benefits.
"We are confident that our US team, together with our own experts, can safely and efficiently develop a successful business in Scotland, which will play a part in securing the energy supply of Scotland and the UK, and will bring significant economic benefits to the country and to the community."