Lifting fracking ban ‘would spark £10 billion boom’

Environmental campaigners protest against fracking. Pic: Lisa Ferguson
Environmental campaigners protest against fracking. Pic: Lisa Ferguson
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Lifting the Scottish Government’s fracking moratorium would create 3,100 jobs, see £6.5 billion spent in Scotland create an additional £4bn in tax receipts, the industry body representing the UK’s onshore oil and gas sector has said.

The United Kingdom Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG) believes there is a “significant economic opportunity” to be exploited if the Scottish Government decides to embrace the controversial energy extraction technique.

In a document prepared for the Scottish Government, UKOOG also claimed many of the health and environmental concerns about unconventional oil and gas exploration have been “debunked” by experts and called for the moratorium to be lifted.

The petrochemical company Ineos would like to use fracking to extract energy from beneath the Forth Valley – a proposal that has meet with opposition from politicians and environmental campaigners.

The Scottish Government has imposed a moratorium to consider the evidence on fracking before coming to a position.

Ken Cronin, chief executive of UKOOG, said: “We recognise that as a result of a deeply polarised debate and an extremely unfair depiction by some of the onshore oil and gas industry there is still much to do to ensure local communities within the central shale belt have proper information.”

A Scottish Labour spokesman said: “If we want to leave our planet in the right condition for our grandchildren then we need to take responsibility now and outlaw fracking.

A Scottish Government Spokesman said: “The Scottish Government has taken a cautious, evidence-led approach to unconventional oil and gas.”