Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow, says a study by the British Geological Survey shows that potentially modest reserves of shale oil and gas prove fracking shouldn't figure in Scotland's energy future.

The BGS estimates there are 80 trillion cubic feet of shale gas in central Scotland - just six per cent of the reserves thought to be present in northern England - and it warns that drilling and testing of wells would be required to understand if commercial production rates could be achieved.

A huge swathe of Scotland, from Argyll to Aberdeenshire and from Ayrshire to East Lothian, has been earmarked as ripe for fracking by the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"This study puts paid to all the hype we've been fed about a shale bonanza. Not only would fracking divert attention from our undoubted renewables potential but any economically viable extraction would be modest and short-term. Greens want a long-term energy plan for Scotland, and we have abundant clean sources to do this.

"As communities across Scotland realise the risk to their local environments from the prospect of fracking, and as climate science tells us we must start to leave unburnt fossil fuels in the ground, it's clear that any such developments will face strong opposition.

"It all serves as a reminder that Westminster controls energy policy in Scotland. The chance to pursue clean, long-lasting power rather than polluting, finite fuels is a compelling reason to vote Yes in September."


The Carboniferous shales of the Midland Valley of Scotland: geology and resource estimation (BGS)