Scotland’s environmental regulation is not strong enough to prevent fracking causing climate pollution, an expert report for the Scottish Government has concluded. The report, one of six on fracking and other forms of unconventional oil and gas published today, was written by the UK advisory Committee on Climate Change. The current regulatory framework for controlling greenhouse gas emissions from the industry “lacks clarity over the responsibilities and roles of the various actors and may have gaps relating to regulation of emissions to air including fugitive methane emissions,” it said. Methane is a very powerful greenhouse gas, that can leak from fracking wells. The committee warned that fracking on a significant scale “is not compatible with Scottish climate targets unless three tests are met”. The first was that emissions must be “strictly limited”, it said. Fossil fuel consumption must also stay in line with Scotland’s targets to cut climate pollution, and any emissions that do occur will have to be offset by reductions elsewhere in the Scottish economy. A report by Health Protection Scotland has also concluded that there were “inadequacies” in the current regulatory framework. “The evidence considered was inadequate as a basis to determine whether development of shale oil and gas or coal bed methane would pose a risk to public health, if permitted in Scotland,” it said. The four other reports published by the Scottish Government covered seismic activity, transport, decommissioning and economic impacts. The energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse promised to launch a public consultation in January with the aim of making a decision on whether or not fracking should go ahead in the second half of 2017.
Ferrett 8th Nov 2016 read more »
The government is mulling over whether to allow the controversial oil and gas extraction technique in Scotland, with a moratorium currently in force. Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse told MSPs that a “precautionary, evidence-based approach” would continue. A public consultation based on newly published studies will be launched in January, before any decision is made. At the same time, the government will publish its climate change plan and commission a full strategic environmental assessment. Nicola Sturgeon’s government commissioned a series of independent research projects when it imposed a moratorium on fracking in January 2015, the conclusions of which have now been published.
BBC 8th Nov 2016 read more »
A series of new reports published by the Scottish Government have revealed damning evidence of the impacts of shale gas fracking in Scotland. The government is currently in talks over whether to allow the controversial oil and gas extraction technique to begin in Scotland, having announced a moratorium last year. An investigation into the potential health effects of fracking found there was “sufficient” evidence to suggest that a number of “air and water-born environmental hazards” would be likely to occur should the operations go ahead. Workers could also be at risk from breathing in dangerous crystalline silica during operations, the report found, a risk to health that could also affect those living near to fracking sites. However, the report – one of six to be published – found that there was “inadequate” data to determine whether the development of shale oil and gas or coal bed methane would pose a risk to public health overall. Analysing the impact fracking could have on climate change, experts from the Committee on Climate Change concluded that developing unconventional oil and gas (UOG) would make it harder for the country to meet environmental targets.
Left entirely unregulated, the emissions footprint of unconventional oil and gas production could be substantial,” the report warned.
Independent 8th Nov 2016 read more »
THE SNP is under pressure to introduce an immediate ban on fracking after an official report said it could damage the health of workers and local residents and even lead to explosions.
Herald 9th Nov 2016 read more »
The Scottish Government has been accused of kicking its decision on fracking into the long grass as it published a series of reports outlining its economic benefits and health risks. Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse indicate the Scottish Government would wait until the second half of next year before delivering its final verdict on the controversial method of extracting oil and gas.
Scotsman 9th Nov 2016 read more »
The Scottish government wants the public to say whether the controversial oil and gas extraction technique – known as fracking – should take place in Scotland. To help people decide, it commissioned a number of expert reports. Here is a brief overview of all six. 1.Economic impacts and scenario development (By KPMG) In the mid-range scenario it is estimated that the development of 20 well pads of 15 wells each could produce a cumulative 947 billion cubic feet of gas and 17.8 million barrels of associated liquids over a lifecycle to the year 2062.This could lead to direct expenditure of £2.2b in Scotland over the period, which could give supply chain benefits and other induced economic benefits of an additional £1.2bn over the period and be responsible for the creation of up to 1,400 jobs at its peak in the Scottish economy. 2.Decommissioning, site restoration and aftercare – obligations and treatment of financial liabilities (By AECOM). 3.Climate change impacts (By the Committee on Climate Change) 4.Understanding and monitoring induced seismic activity (By the British Geological Survey) 5.Health Impact Assessment (By Health Protection Scotland) 6. Understanding and mitigating community level impacts from transportation (By Ricardo)
BBC 8th Nov 2016 read more »
A TOTAL ban on fracking was a step closer last night after experts warned it would punch a hole in climate targets. New research for the SNP Government also suggests the industry might not even be economically worthwhile if oil and gas prices stay historically low. And an NHS report on public health raised concerns of potential hazards to workers and people living near drilling sites. In total, six reports were published yesterday as Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse ordered a public consultation over the controversial mining technology. Opponents said the lukewarm research findings and tough environmental challenges mean fracking is “doomed”.
Daily Record 9th Nov 2016 read more »
The SNP administration has delayed a decision on the future of fracking for at least another 12 months after the publication of six independent studies about the industry’s potential. Environmentalists welcomed the research, which also looked at the possible impact of fracking on the environment and public health. Mary Church, head of campaigns for Friends of the Earth, said the reports were “damning”. She added: “Fracking is bad for the climate, bad for public health and won’t do much good for the economy.” Willie Rennie, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said that the new research suggested the SNP government was setting off “on the long road to no”. Mark Ruskell, the Scottish Green MSP, said: “On the basis of what’s been published today, it seems clear that fracking is doomed.”
Times 9th Nov 2016 read more »
Indecisive SNP government does the public and economy no favours by dithering about an urgent energy issue that could be key to keeping the lights on. It is not clear why the Scottish government needs a further period of consultation before it reaches a decision on fracking. The research it commissioned back in 2015 has been delivered, the detail about costs, environmental impact, economic benefits and jobs are all there in KPMG’s 64-page report, published yesterday. This is the kind of information most ministers would require in order to reach a decision. What is holding them back?
Times 9th Nov 2016 read more »
FRACKING in Scotland is “doomed”, according to one MSP, while another said it was clear the Scottish Government “is on a long journey to saying no”, to the controversial process. The comments from Scottish Green MSP Mark Ruskell and LibDem leader Willie Rennie came after Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse published a series of reports on the technique, and said a public consultation would get under way early in 2017 with MSPs expected to vote on the process later in the year.
The National 9th Nov 2016 read more »
More than 150 jobs could be created if plans to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) directly to the Port of Roysth get the green light. The project would also help to cut energy costs for homes and businesses that are not connected to the national gas network, according to joint venture partners Flogas Britain, an LNG supplier, and Norwegian transport and storage group Stolt-Nielsen LNG Holdings. Scotland’s off-grid natural gas is currently delivered by road tanker from Kent, in the south-east of England, adding to transportation costs and forcing many firms to use oil to power their industrial processes. However, the plans announced today would see Stolt-Nielsen shipping in LNG via small-scale carriers for storage at the Fife port, which is owned by Edinburgh-based Forth Ports, before being distributed by Flogas across Scotland by road tanker, mainly to industria l customers.
Scotsman 9th Nov 2016 read more »