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Scottish Government publish unconventional oil and gas research

Words: Roger Milne
Fracking / iStock

The Scottish Government confirmed this week that formal consultation on unconventional oil and gas development (UOG) will start early in the New Year.

Currently there is a moratorium on any such development – which includes fracking and coal bed methane extraction.

Confirmation came as the administration published a package of six research reports, which will inform its stance on whether or not to allow any UOG development in Scotland.

The research covers public health, economic and climate change impacts as well as traffic, decommissioning and site restoration issues.

Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “This research will ensure the public has access to a comprehensive evidence base on the potential health, economic and environment impacts of UOG ahead of the launch of the Scottish Government’s public consultation in the early New Year.

Wheelhouse said the studies are an "important contribution" to the examination of the potential impacts of unconventional oil and gas technologies, including fracking and coal bed methane extraction, and underline the Scottish Government’s "precautionary, robust and evidence-based approach to UOG".

“We are mindful that those areas of Scotland across which it has been suggested industry wishes to deploy either fracking or coal bed methane extraction are located across the Central Belt of Scotland: one of the most densely populated areas of the country," Wheelhouse said.

“Those communities would be directly affected by any unconventional oil and gas development, and must be given genuine opportunities to explore and discuss the evidence in depth and at length.”

Image credit | iStock