Peel Group has created subsidiary Peel Gas & Oil to work alongside current and prospective onshore shale gas license holders as development partner.
With close links to other Peel divisions such as Ports and Logistics, Peel Gas & Oil is tasked with encouraging investment in the infrastructure needed to support shale gas development in the region.
The new subsidiary will draw on the group's skills and assets in land, infrastructure, utilities, transport and planning to help establish the industry in the UK. The company is already working with IGas on a number of sites in the North West of England and said that it expects to announce further partnerships in the coming months.
Myles Kitcher, previously director of Peel Environmental, is now managing director of the new division. He said: "The emerging onshore shale gas sector is a golden opportunity for the UK and the North in particular. There is a growing momentum in this region, with the Government announcing the new National College for Onshore Oil & Gas, based in Blackpool and linked to the University of Chester.
"We are ideally placed to become a regional hub for the industry drawing on existing assets, such as the Manchester Ship Canal and thriving ports, and the wealth of expertise businesses in the area have to offer. This could help transform the regional economy, unlocking a projected £10bn investment and over 3500 jobs in the development of shale gas resources in the North West region alone. We need to act quickly to get a thriving supply chain in place, ready to benefit from the emerging industry."