INEOS on Scottish fracking ban: ‘England will reap benefits’

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The decision to ban shale extraction in Scotland has signalled the Scottish Government “turning its back on a potential manufacturing and jobs renaissance”, according to INEOS Shale.

Operations director Tom Pickering warned that Scotland will miss out on economic and employment benefits, including an estimated 3,100 jobs.

It comes after the Scottish Government said that fracking “cannot and will not take place in Scotland”.

READ MORE: Scottish Government announces ban on fracking

Shale gas is currently processed in Scotland at an INEOS site in Grangemouth, but it has been shipped in from abroad.

Mr Pickering said: “It is a sad day for those of us who believe in evidence-led decision making. The Scottish Government has turned its back on a potential manufacturing and jobs renaissance and lessened Scottish academia’s place in the world by ignoring its findings.

The shale gas carrier INEOS Insight makes its way to dock at Grangemouth

The shale gas carrier INEOS Insight makes its way to dock at Grangemouth

READ MORE: The cases for and against the Scottish fracking ban

“Today’s decision is a slight on the dedicated professionalism that Scottish workers have pioneered in the North Sea. We lead the world in exploration safety, but I fear we will start to see large numbers of Scottish workers leaving the country to find work as the North Sea oil and gas industry continues to decline.

READ MORE: Pressure mounts on SNP to confirm total ban on fracking

“Natural gas will be needed by Scotland for the foreseeable future and production from the North Sea continues to decline. This decision, which beggars belief, means gas becomes a cost for the Scottish economy instead of an ongoing source of income.

“It speaks volumes about Scottish leadership on the world stage and sends a clear and negative message to any future investors in Scotland.

“Expert reports have clearly stated that this technology can be applied safely and responsibly - but it will be England that reaps the benefits.”

Ken Cronin, Chief Executive of UK Onshore Oil and Gas, also voiced disappointment at the decision.

He said: “The Scottish Government ignores the advice of its own independent experts and prefers a future where gas will have to be imported with the damage that will do to the economy and the environment.

“It turns its back on job creation, skills development, an increase in tax receipts and investment in communities. Over the last 20 years, 30 wells have been drilled and produce gas within the Central Belt, without any impact to the natural environment or public health.

“This is a poor decision, ignoring Scotland’s rich heritage and expertise in oil and gas. It is not based on the evidence from extensive independent research, which clearly states that with appropriate regulatory oversight and monitoring Scotland’s regulatory framework is sufficiently robust to manage onshore exploration and production.”

READ MORE FROM THE SCOTSMAN ENVIRONMENT SECTION