Fracking would support 1,400 jobs but could hit emissions target

Exploitation of unconventional gas and oil reserves would see £2.2 billion spent in Scotland and support 1,400 jobs until 2062, a new report into fracking has claimed.

Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse

Economic analysis conducted by KPMG was one of several reports commissioned by the Scottish Government as it considers its position on fracking.

Unveiling the research to parliament, Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse indicated that a final decision on the controversial oil and gas extraction technique would not be made until the second half of next year.

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Mr Wheelhouse said the Scottish Government had maintained a “consistently sceptical and precautionary” approach” on the issue.

Picture: TSPL

He added that it was “imperative” to continue with a “careful, considered and evidence-based approach” to fracking as five separate reports running to around 1,000 pages between them were published into the technique.

The KPMG analysis predicted that another £1.2 billion would be created by the industry in the period up to 2062. According to the KPMG report the economic impact would amount to “on average, 0.1 per cent of Scottish GDP”.

The figures were based on the middle of three scenarios which would see 20 well pads of 15 wells each.

A report into the impact on climate change said: “Left entirely unregulated, the emissions footprint of unconventional oil and gas production could be substantial. Any significant level of exploitation of Scottish resources in this way would be inconsistent with emissions targets. However, there are technologies and techniques that are known to limit greenhouse gas emissions from shale production. “

Picture: TSPL

While a Health Impact Assessment conducted by Health Protection Scotland said 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”.