The Scottish Government has invited tenders for a research programme into the potential impacts of onshore unconventional oil and gas extraction.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing told Holyrood in October that the government will carry out a “thorough and wide-ranging research process” into the potential impacts of onshore unconventional oil and gas extraction to inform a full public consultation to take place in winter 2016/17.
The Scottish Government research programme will include projects on: Transport impacts; Decommissioning and aftercare; Seismic monitoring; Climate change; Economic impact.
The Scottish Government said it is committed to gathering robust evidence on the potential impacts of unconventional oil and gas, and giving stakeholders and the public time to consider the issues and express their views and concerns.
It has asked the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) to undertake the climate change impact study. A public health impact assessment is also being carried out by Health Protection Scotland. The projects are scheduled to report by summer 2016.
Ewing said: “No fracking can or will take place while our moratorium remains in place. We have committed to carry out a wide-ranging research programme, followed by an extensive public consultation, which will allow interested parties to express their views.
“The Scottish Government has now invited tenders for key components of this research. Overall, this programme is a comprehensive package of work covering key aspects of onshore unconventional oil and gas.
“Gathering robust evidence on the issues that matter to communities is our immediate priority in order to ensure that the public and stakeholders are in possession of the facts when the consultation begins.”