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Green groups: fracking in Scotland is not worth it

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​Survey shows there is only a modest amount of exploitable shale gas in Scotland, while green groups say fracking is not worth the environmental cost

There will be no fracking bonanza in Scotland, and energy companies should back off say environmental groups.

A new study has shown the country only has a “modest amount” of shale gas and oil available for exploitation.

The British Geological Survey estimated there are 80 trillion cubic feet of shale gas in central Scotland.

That compares to 1,300 trillion cubic feet in the north of England.

Therefore, the amount of oil and gas which could be commercially recovered is "substantially" lower.

The report says: "The complex geology of the area and historic mine workings mean that exploratory drilling and testing is even more important to determine.”

It's clear that there's not going to be a shale gas or oil bonanza in Scotland any time soon - Lang Banks

Environmental charities and groups say that any attempt to frack – the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside – must be opposed in Scotland.

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: "It's clear that there's not going to be a shale gas or oil bonanza in Scotland any time soon.

"While this study should change nothing about Scotland's aim to decarbonise its power sector and go fully renewable, in the wider interests of tackling climate change it's time for Scottish ministers to commit to start leaving some fossil fuels, including shale gas, in the ground.

"We already know our planet's climate can't afford the risk of burning the fossil fuels we already know about. So, to plan to find and burn even more should really be a non-starter.

"Only last week it was revealed that Scotland is now generating record amounts of renewable electricity, while other studies have shown we could generate all of our electricity needs without the need for new fossil fuel burning.

"Whether it is shale gas, coal or oil, Scotland really needs to begin transitioning away from polluting fossil fuels."

Mary Church, Friends of the Earth Scotland’s head of campaigns, said: “Low headline gas estimates and even smaller potential returns combined with recent planning restrictions mean that Scotland is an increasingly unattractive prospect for the shale industry.

“This is good news for the large number of communities across Scotland faced with the threat of fracking under UK government plans to license the central belt.

“This study shows that shale gas and oil will do nothing for energy security, won’t bring down bills and certainly isn’t worth the risk.”