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Onshore Oil and Gas

Issue

The Scottish Government has taken a cautious, evidence-led approach to unconventional oil and gas. 

In October 2017, the Scottish Government announced its preferred policy position of not supporting the development of unconventional oil and gas (UOG) in Scotland. Details of the Scottish Government's preferred policy position on unconventional oil and gas can be viewed at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Business-Industry/Energy/onshoreoilandgas/PreferredPolicyPosition

In line with statutory requirements, we are undertaking a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of our preferred policy position. We are also undertaking a Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA).

This consultation invites views on the findings of the Strategic Environmental Assessment Environmental Report: https://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/10/7036​; the partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment: https://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/10/6183;  and our preferred policy position of not supporting the development of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/Topics/Business-Industry/Energy/onshoreoilandgas/PreferredPolicyPosition

The consultation will run for eight weeks from 23 October, with responses invited by 18 December. The consultation is open to all interested parties, who are encouraged to take part in the consultation via the Scottish Government’s online consultation site, Citizen Space: https://consult.gov.scot/energy-and-climate-change-directorate/preferred-policy-position-on-uog/.  Alternative formats can be made available on request.

When providing views to this consultation, there is no need to restate views already covered in the 2017 Talking “Fracking” public consultation analysis report. These have been, and will continue to be, taken into account as the Scottish Government finalises a policy position on unconventional oil and gas.

Unconventional oil and gas

On 28 January 2015, the Scottish Government put in place a moratorium on unconventional oil and gas development in Scotland, which prevents hydraulic fracturing and coalbed methane extraction taking place.

The Scottish Government carried out a comprehensive period of evidence gathering, public engagement, and dialogue on the issue.  This culminated with a four-month public consultation, Talking “Fracking”, which closed on 31 May and received over 60,000 responses.

On 03 October 2017, in response to the publication of the consultation responses, the Minister for Business Innovation and Energy made a statement to the Scottish Parliament on the future of unconventional oil and gas.  The statement sets out that the Scottish Government's preferred policy position is that it does not support the development of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland.

Further information, including the full text of the Minister’s statement, can be found at https://news.gov.scot/speeches-and-briefings/unconventional-oil-and-gas-statement and https://news.gov.scot/news/scottish-government-says-no-to-fracking.

The consultation analysis report can be viewed at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/10/9813. The published consultation responses from individuals can be viewed at: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/energy-and-climate-change-directorate/fracking-unconventional-oil-and-gas/consultation/published_select_respondent. The published consultation responses from discussion groups can be viewed at: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/energy-and-climate-change-directorate/427a5cef/.   

Details of the Scottish Government's preferred policy position on unconventional oil and gas can be viewed at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Business-Industry/Energy/onshoreoilandgas/PreferredPolicyPosition.

In line with statutory responsibilities, a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) on the Scottish Government’s preferred policy position will be undertaken.