The Scottish Government is inviting views from the public on the future of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland.
This includes hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” and coal bed methane extraction.
The consultation Talking “fracking” will run until 31 May 2017 and can be viewed on the Scottish Government’s consultation website: http://consult.scotland.gov.uk
A dedicated website www.talkingfracking.scot has been created for the duration of the consultation that will provide user-friendly information on unconventional oil and gas and the findings of the research commissioned by the Scottish Government. Discussion tool-kits have also been created to help communities and other groups participate in the consultation.
Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse said:
“The debate on the future of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland has proven both complex and controversial. It is also an issue that has stimulated intense discussion, motivated by deeply held and sincere views on all sides.
“The Scottish Government has sought to present impartial, independent information on unconventional oil and gas in order to encourage informed dialogue and debate. This consultation does not set out or advocate a preferred Scottish Government position or policy. Instead, we want to create space for dialogue and allow different perspectives to come forward.
“As most of Scotland’s unconventional oil and gas deposits occur in and around former coalfields and oil shale fields in Scotland’s Central Belt, which contains some of the most densely populated areas of the country, as well as in the area around Canonbie, Dumfriesshire, it is vitally important that communities, businesses and interest groups from across Scotland have an opportunity to put their views across.
“The Scottish Government has a very important decision to make in determining the future of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland. Once the consultation closes and the responses have been independently analysed, we will then consider the full range of evidence, and make our recommendation. In doing so, we will give careful consideration to the extraction methods for both shale oil and gas, and coal bed methane.
“We will then ask members of the Scottish Parliament to vote on our recommendation, and we will come to a final decision by the end of 2017 on whether or not unconventional oil and gas has a role in Scotland’s energy mix.”
Independent Expert Scientific Panel Report: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2014/07/1758