Jim Ratcliffe

Jim Ratcliffe


  • According to his profile at INEOS, Jim Ratcliffe began his career with Exxon Chemicals where he completed his MBA at London Business School. [1]


Jim Ratcliffe is chairman, co-founder, and majority owner of US petrochemical giant INEOS. [1]

He has described shale gas as a “saviour“ of the UK economy. He is known for his aggressive pursuit of industrial assets in the UK, including the Grangemouth petrochemical plant and refinery, Forties pipeline, and fracking licenses. [2], [3], [4], [5]

Ratcliffe confessed to moving his operations to the tax-haven of Geneva, Switzerland, with some parts of INEOS’ business now returned to the UK. [6]

He forced the closure of the Grangemouth refinery in 2013 after a dispute with trade unions over working conditions and pension payments. [7]

Stance on Climate Change

While Ratcliffe does not appear to have released an official statement on climate change, Daily Mail reported in 2015 that he was building a new “climate change proof” £4 million beachfront mansion in the UK. [8]

INEOS has come under fire for its carbon footprint, which it has historically refused to disclose, while some have suggested the group may be one of Britain’s largest polluters. [9]

“It seems reasonable to assume that INEOS‘ emissions amount to millions, if not tens of millions of CO2 every year,” a Christian Aid spokesman said.

“Yet despite the company’s vast scale, it manages to keep an extremely low profile, releasing only snippets of information about its emissions of greenhouse gases.

“The fondness for a low profile is shared by majority shareholder Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s tenth richest man with an estimated personal fortune of £3.”

Documents released under a freedom of information act request revealed INEOS was also leading a push to use Brexit as an opportunity to exempt the chemical sector entirely from climate change policy costs, The Guardian reported. [10]

Key Quotes

March 16, 2017

On hearing that Ratcliffe’s INEOS was set to purchase the Forties pipeline from BP, an industry insider told Scotland’s Daily Record: [11]

Holy sh*t. This would be like giving a monkey a machete […] Letting Jim Ratcliffe loose on all the operators who feed into that pipeline is a dangerous, dangerous ploy.”

September 27, 2016

Ratcliffe was quoted in an article at The National, a Scottish paper, where he blamed a “vocal minority” for opposing shale gas and described it as a “savior” for the UK economy: [2]

There’s no science behind the arguments the vocal minority are making,” Ratcliffe claimed. “America is much more regulated than the UK and they’ve drilled a million wells and it’s been very successful, they’re not polluting things and I don’t understand it other than the vocal minority makes more noise than the majority who are in favour of shale in every survey that we do.”

September 12, 2015

“You can’t have an energy policy that means you can only have a bath when the wind blows, Ratcliffe said in an interview with The Guardian/The Observer[12]

With regards to fracking, Ratcliffe added:

I think a lot of opposition is based on hearsay and rumour. In the US they have drilled one million wells and not had an environmental incident for six years.”

November 2013

Ratcliffe wrote a comment piece for the Daily Telegraph reflecting on the Grangemouth industrial dispute, in which he says of trade unions: [13]

It is misplaced for unions in Britain to think that we are the enemy. We are not. It is not necessary, nor appropriate, to sow dissent and misrepresent employees or constantly to threaten industrial action. It is wrong for “brothers and sisters” letters (this is how missives from the union to members on site are addressed) to describe doubters or anyone who deigns to cross the union as scabs. It also has the hallmarks of bullying. Not only is it wrong but it is also intimidating, and designed to suppress alternative views – an attitude that runs absolutely counter to the values of society today, in which freedom of speech is cherished.”

Key Deeds

September 25, 2020

Ratcliffe officially relocated to Monaco, Bloomberg reported, where residents are not obligated to pay income or capital gains taxes. He had originally considered moving the location of INEOS abroad after a tax disagreement with the British government. [21]

February 13, 2019

Ratcliffe wrote to the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, calling EU energy policies “stupid” and claiming that high green taxes were making Europe uncompetitive. [20]

February 4, 2019

Ratcliffe called on the government to relax regulations on earth tremors caused by fracking or ban the extraction method altogether, the Independent reported. He referred to the regulatory environment in the US where earthquakes of up to 4.0 on the Richter scale are permitted. [19]

July 2017

INEOS successfully obtained a temporary national injunction against all anti-fracking protests to its activities. INEOS has licenses to explore for shale gas across the largest area of any company in the UK. [14]

April 2015

Ratcliffe met with Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, on the same day the Scottish government announced a moratorium on fracking. [15]

October 2013

Ratcliffe forced the closure of the Grangemouth refinery during an industrial dispute. INEOS said it would consider whether to reopen the plant once the “threat of strike action” had been removed. [7]


  • INEOS  — Chairman and chief executive officer. [4]
  • Esso [1]
  • Courtaulds [[1]
  • Advent International — Joined in 1989. [16]
  • Inspec — Former Director (Inspec Fine Chemicals). [1], [17]
  • Chem Aviation — LLP Designated Member. [18]
  • Hampshire Aviation — LLP Designated Member.  [18]
  • Screencondor — Former Director. [18]
  • Lime Wood Group — Former Director. [18]
  • Inovyn Group — Former Director. [18]
  • Hampshire Charters — Former LLP Designated Member. [18]
  • Hawkslease Finance Company — Former Director. [18]
  • Lucite International — Former Director. [17]
  • Evonik Specialty Organics — Former Director. [17]
  • Elements PLC — Former Director. [17]
  • BASF UK — Former Director. [17]
  • Hythe Chemicals — Former Director. [17]
  • Cognis Specialty Organics — Former Director. [17]
  • Revertex Chemicals — Former Director. [17]

Social Media





  1. Company,” INEOS. Accessed December 27, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/unrWV
  2. Greg Russell. “Ineos chief Jim Ratcliffe says shale gas could be the saviour of the UK economy,” The National, September 27, 2016. Archived December 27, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/j5jDC
  3. About: Grangemouth,” INEOS. Accessed December 27, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/vwPh9
  4. (Press Release). “BP to sell Forties Pipeline System to INEOS,” BP, April 3, 2017. Archived June 9, 2017. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/leGYQ
  5. INEOS Shale homepage. Accessed December 27, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/1G5mV
  6. Tracey Boles. “Ineos billionaire Ratcliffe comes home after Swiss tax exile,” CityA.M.. July 17, 2016. Archived December 27, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/4wlkE
  7. Grangemouth dispute: Ineos says petrochemical plant will close,” BBC News, October 23, 2013. Archived December 27, 2018. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/QNuUU
  8. Darren Boyle. “Billionaire plans to fit new £4million mansion with hydraulic stilts that will keep it safe from rising sea levels… and it heats itself using the OUTSIDE AIR in temperatures as low as -25C,” Daily Mail, April 18, 2015. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/XPQpm
  9. INEOS under fire for its carbon footprint,” Southern Daily Echo, September 26, 2007. Archived December 27, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/PnSNX
  10. Fracking firm Ineos leads industry lobbying to avoid green tax,” The Guardian, April 3, 2017. Archived December 27, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/mK299
  11. Annie Brown and Charlie Gall. “Fury at billionaire Jim Ratcliffe ‘bringing North Sea oil and gas pipelines under his control‘,” Daily Record. March 16, 2017. Archived December 27, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/rBnnx
  12. David Hellier. “Jim Ratcliffe: ‘Fracking can be done safely. A lot of opposition is based on hearsay’,” The Guardian, September 12, 2015. Archived December 27, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/l7Pyl
  13. Jim Ratcliffe: My battle with the union and why we trail behind Germany,” The Telegraph, November 3, 2013. Archived December 27, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/vUvdW
  14. Kyla Mandel. “Growing Number of Restrictions Placed by Police, Councils on Anti-Fracking Protests,” DeSmog, September 11, 2017.
  15. Kyla Mandel. “Why Did Scotland’s First Minister Meet with Pro-Fracking Firm Ineos the Same Day Scotland Announced a Moratorium?“ DeSmog, April 10, 2015.
  16. Dearbail Jordan. “Jim Ratcliffe: Turning cast-offs into gold,” BBC News, May 13, 2018. Archived December 27, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/7K2Hg
  17. James Arthur RATCLIFFE” (page 2), Companies house. Archived December 27, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/THHJ4
  18. James Arthur RATCLIFFE,” Companies House. Archived December 27, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/FeVnZ
  19. Ben Chapman. “Fracking must be banned unless government relaxes earthquake limits on process, UK‘s richest man says,” Independent, 4 February, 2019. Archived February 6, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/lpfso
  20. Emily Gosden. “Ineos boss attacks ‘stupid’ European policies on energy,” The Times, February 13, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/ODsM9. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  21. Benjamin Stupples, U.K.’s Richest Man Jim Ratcliffe Surfaces as Monaco Resident, September 25, 2020. Archived September 28, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/F1dJv

Other Resources

Photo: Wikimedia Commons | CC3.0

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