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    Scotland Implements Fracking Ban


Scotland will not support the development of unconventional oil and gas, and has said there will be an indefinite ban on fracking there.

by: Mark Smedley

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Corporate, Exploration & Production, Shale Gas , News By Country, Scotland, United Kingdom

Scotland Implements Fracking Ban

The Scottish government, in the UK, announced October 3 it will not support the development of unconventional oil and gas on its territory, meaning there will be an indefinite ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in Scotland. Hitherto it had a moratorium on fracking.

To put this into immediate effect, the Scottish government has written to local authorities in Scotland to make clear that directions that gave effect to the existing moratorium will remain in place. A parliamentary vote will be held in the near future followed by a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). A similar vote, followed by an SEA, occurred when the Scottish government banned Underground Coal Gasification in October 2016.

Scottish business, innovation and energy minister Paul Wheelhouse told the parliament in Edinburgh that the October 3 2017 decision, which was largely expected, followed an extensive period of evidence gathering, public engagement, and dialogue on the issue. He said the four-month public consultation had elicited over 60,000 responses, 99% of which were opposed to fracking.

UK-based Ineos, owned by Jim Ratcliffe which has a petrochemical complex at Grangemouth on Scotland's east coast and licences to explore for and eventually produce shale gas in England, said the decision would "negatively affect Scottish jobs, energy security and growth."

Tom Pickering, operations director at Ineos Shale, said: ‘It is a sad day for those of us who believe in evidence-led decision making." He also said the Scottish government decision was a "a slight on the dedicated professionalism that Scottish workers have pioneered in the North Sea."

Plans to drill shale gas exploration wells in England are progressing although not all explorers intend to frack at this stage.


Mark Smedley