Date lodged: 30 January 2017
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will confirm when the consultation on unconventional oil and gas will be launched.
Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 31 January 2017
I can confirm that the consultation on unconventional oil and gas has been published at the following link: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/energy-and-climate-change-directorate/fracking-unconventional-oil-and-gas/
The future of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland has proven both complex and controversial. It is also an issue that has stimulated intense debate, motivated by deeply held and sincere views on all sides. The consultation, Talking “Fracking”, is opportunity for those views to be put forward to the Scottish Government. The consultation will run until 31 May 2017.
Throughout this process we have sought to present impartial, independent information on unconventional oil and gas in order to encourage informed dialogue and debate, and this consultation is a continuation of that process. The consultation does not set out or advocate a preferred Scottish Government position or policy. Instead, we want to create space for dialogue and allow different perspectives to come forward.
The Scottish Government has a very important decision to make in determining the future of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland. Once the consultation closes and the responses have been independently analysed, we will then consider the full range of evidence, and make our recommendation. In doing so, we will give careful consideration to the extraction methods for both shale oil and gas, and coal bed methane.
We will then ask the Scottish Parliament to vote on our recommendation, and we will come to a final decision by the end of 2017 on whether or not unconventional oil and gas has a role in Scotland’s energy mix.
The consultation document is available in alternate formats on request, including easy read, large print, braille, British Sign Language and other languages, which can be requested from the Scottish Government. The Scottish Government is also happy to receive responses in alternative formats, for instance spoken responses or other languages.