SPICe Briefing - Scottish Parliament

Oct 24, 2013 - available for UCG and tight gas in the UK or Scotland. There is currently ...... electricity target of 50% from renewable sources by 2015. Scottish ...
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The Sc ottish Parliament and Scottis h Parliament Infor mation C entre l ogos .

SPICe Briefing

Unconventional Gas in Scotland 24 October 2013 13/68 Alasdair Reid This briefing considers unconventional gas exploration and extraction in Scotland and the UK; including the technique known as hydraulic fracturing (fracking), which has attracted a significant amount of scrutiny in recent months. It also considers some of the broader social, economic and environmental impacts that might arise from exploiting this resource.

Coal Bed Methane Appraisal Site - Leven © Dart Energy Scotland 2013

CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ................................................................................................................................................... 3 BACKGROUND................................................................................................................................................................. 4 WHAT IS UNCONVENTIONAL GAS AND HOW IS IT EXTRACTED? ........................................................................ 5 Extraction Processes ................................................................................................................................................ 5 UNCONVENTIONAL GAS POTENTIAL IN THE UK ....................................................................................................... 9 UNCONVENTIONAL GAS IN THE US ............................................................................................................................. 9 GOVERNMENT POLICY ................................................................................................................................................. 10 REGULATORY REGIME ............................................................................................................................................ 11 PEDL Licences ........................................................................................................................................................ 11 Planning Permission ............................................................................................................................................... 11 Environmental Permissions .................................................................................................................................... 12 Could the Scottish Government Ban Unconventional Gas Extraction? .................................................................. 12 Other Permissions ................................................................................................................................................... 13 CURRENT ACTIVITIES .................................................................................................................................................. 14 THE IMPACT OF UNCONVENTIONAL GAS ................................................................................................................. 17 EUROPE ..................................................................................................................................................................... 17 UNITED KINGDOM ..................................................................................................................................................... 18 Security of supply and economic impacts ............................................................................................................... 20 Environmental impacts ............................................................................................................................................ 21 SOURCES ....................................................................................................................................................................... 26 ANNEXE A – CURRENT PEDL LICENCES ................................................................................................................... 34 ANNEXE B – CURRENT PEDL LICENCES BY SCOTTISH PARLIAMENTARY