Scottish Energy Minister orders independent new scientific evidence on Scots shale industry

How Scottish Energy News revealed the 'strong interest' in shale gas licences on 7 Dec 2015
Scottish Energy News  –  7 Dec 2015

The Scottish Government has today invited tenders for an independent research programme into the potential impacts of onshore unconventional oil and gas extraction – aka shale energy.

The latest analysis of shale-bearing rock strata in Scotland – mostly in the Central Belt – by the British Geological Society shows that there are ‘considerable’ reserves, including the ‘Gulf of Gullane’ sweet-spot in East Lothian.

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing informed Parliament in October that the Government will carry out a thorough and wide-ranging research process into the potential impacts of onshore unconventional oil and gas extraction to inform a full public consultation to take place in winter 2016-17.

As previously reported in Scottish Energy News, this effectively takes much of the ill-informed public heat out of the shale energy issue until after the next Scottish Parliament elections in May 2016.

The Scottish Government programme will include research on:

  • Transport impacts
  • Decommissioning and aftercare
  • Seismic monitoring
  • Climate change
  • Economic impact

The Scottish Government has vowed to gather ‘robust evidence’ on the potential impacts of unconventional oil and gas, and giving stakeholders and the public time to consider the issues and express their views and concerns.

Separately, the Scottish Government has asked the UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC) to undertake a climate change impact study.

A public health impact assessment is being carried out by Health Protection Scotland.

The  Energy Institute, the independent body for energy industry professionals, has already published an independent report on shale.
The Energy Institute, the independent body for energy industry professionals, has already published an independent report on shale.

Ewing said: “No fracking for shale oil and gas can or will take place in Scotland while our moratorium remains in place. We have committed to carry out a wide-ranging research programme, followed by an extensive public consultation, which will allow interested parties to express their views.

“The Scottish Government has now invited tenders for key components of this research. Overall, this programme is a comprehensive package of work covering key aspects of onshore unconventional oil and gas.

“Gathering robust evidence on the issues that matter to communities is our immediate priority in order to ensure that the public and stakeholders are in possession of the facts when the consultation begins.”

sen logo apr 2014 medium

Scottish Energy News has extensively reported shale oil and gas issues in Scotland and the UK and earlier this year we held The UK Shale Energy Conference 2015 in conjunction with the Scottish Energy Association ( )

In addition to the following link, readers can search our online archives for full reports on independent, probative and robust data on shale oil and gas safety;  See also:

Shale Energy conference logo2England steps on the (shale) gas with new £30m test drill programme, while Scotland stagnates

Strong UK interest in Scottish shale energy as DECC confirms 9 oil-gas firms have applied for exploration licences

SNP’s Westminster Energy spokesman sets out the Five Fracking Tests for UK shale gas sector

When Scotland’s shale energy industry led the world

Shale and Safety: get the fracking facts right from the Royal Society of Edinburgh

Grangemouth owner hires global oil experts and invests for Scottish shale gas boom

 Scots civil engineers call for evidence-led debate on Scottish nuclear and shale energy in face of ‘emotional’ scaremongering


Pixie Energy

Pixie logo Pixie Energy is an incubator and a facilitator of strategic research and project work, focusing on energy regulation, policy and markets at the local and national level. Find out more about Pixie Energy here.

Local Energy Matters: Scotland

Local Energy Matters: Scotland is a free-to-download brochure with a focus on energy tariffs in the two Scottish electricity distribution regions, as well news on local energy and low-carbon schemes.

Previous editions can be download here.

Scottish energy market overview

You can read an overview of the Scottish energy market here.

Scottish Government energy feed