EXCLUSIVE: Second ‘shale age’ could improve public health and extend life expectancy in Scotland’s poorest communities

fracking-diagramFracking – hydraulic fracturing – to recover shale oil and/or gas reserves deep underground is not new and has been successfully operated in a commercial basis in Scotland.

Indeed, more than 100 shale wells were sunk in the ‘first shale age’ in Scotland between 1850 and 1950 – stretching from Houston (Renfrewshire), to Baillieston, Glasgow and on to Loanhead and around Cousland, near Dalkeith in Edinburghshire.

And Graham Dean, Managing Director of Reach CSG – an Aberdeen based oil and gas company – told the UK Shale Energy Conference** in Glasgow last week:

“Shale oil and gas is no different from offshore North Sea oil and gas – except that Scotland’s reserves of it are spread onshore across the Central Belt.”

Dean – a petroleum engineer and petro-physicist also said that Scottish shale energy could be good for general public health – as well as economic health.

He used two contrasting ‘maps’ of Scottish multiple deprivation – created using official Scottish government statistics. The map of Greater Glasgow glowed red – indicating the highest levels of deprivation – while the map of Aberdeen South was almost entirely blue, indicating affluence.

He said: “One of the many reasons that this part of Aberdeen is such a pleasant prosperous area is the contribution of many well-paid N. Sea oil and gas related jobs to the local economy. People in Aberdeen are likely to live up to eight years longer than people living in Glasgow.

“Fracking is a day and daily activity in the N. Sea and the ‘second-age’ of a Scottish shale energy industry could keep Scotland self-sufficient in gas for the next two generations – but it won’t unless the present ‘moratorium’ is lifted.”

See also: UK fracking is ‘low risk to public health’, says Dept. of Health



** Speaker presentations are available on the Scottish Energy Association website from w/b 3 October 2016: www.wearesea.com



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