Scotland Widens Unconventional Moratorium To Include UCG Technologies
The Scottish Government has announced a crackdown on unconventional gas on Thursday, putting in place a moratorium on underground coal gasification (UCG) in Scotland.
‘This is separate to the existing moratorium on onshore unconventional oil and gas, including hydraulic fracturing – and comes as ministers have also informed Parliament that the Government will carry out a thorough and wide-ranging research process into the potential impacts of such onshore techniques’ reads a note released by the Scottish Government.
This adds to the moratorium on onshore unconventional oil and gas announced by the Energy Minster Fergus Ewing in January, which requires a full public consultation.
Edinburgh also widened the research activity on unconventional resources, explaining that it will open a public consultation once the research process has been finalised and the results published.
‘This will give the public a chance to study the research reports before taking part in the public consultation’ the government said, adding that the entire process should take around 2 years.
According to Energy Minister Ewing, several parties and stakeholders welcomed the UCG moratorium.
“Scotland’s moratorium into onshore unconventional oil and gas extraction was welcomed by both environmental campaigners and industry representatives. It will remain in place as the research and public consultation is undertaken” Ewing said.
The latest developments clearly indicate that, despite the positive stance of the UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Scotland will slow down any possible unconventional activity.
SHALE IN US
The news comes on the same day Wood Mackenzie said that oil and gas companies in the United States are about to face a rosier future than expected by other analysts.
“We anticipate discomfort in the coming months and expect some more companies will inevitably fail, which is clearly a catastrophic event for lenders and equity holders. However, most of these companies will be small, with pre-existing structural portfolio issues. Even in the worst case scenario, the assets of these companies will be salvaged through restructuring or assets sales; creditors will keep wells producing as long as possible” Fraser McKay, Corporate Analysis Research Director for Wood Mackenzie, said in a note.