Scotland “would be foolish” to miss out on the fracking opportunity, according to Murdo Fraser.
The Convener of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee said: “There is a lively debate in Scotland today and across the UK about fracking.
“Our committee has not considered this issue directly, but my personal view is that we would be foolish to miss this opportunity.”
A frack- friendly exploration strategy would provide both job and energy security for the region, according to the Scottish leader.
“Many losing their jobs today in the offshore industry have exactly the skills required to develop a new onshore industry, providing economic benefit and security of supply for gas,” he said.
The first port of call could be Grangemouth, according to the MSP.
“The Ineos plant at Grangemouth relies on shale gas from the US shipped across the Atlantic in a fleet of Chinese-built supertankers,” he said.
“Yet, it is sitting close to substantial gas reserves right here in Scotland.
“On no level does this make sense, least of all an environmental one.”
The committee convener was speaking at the Upstream Efficiency Forum in Aberdeen yesterday when called for shift in energy perspective.
He added: “My hope is that once the elections are out of the way, the Scottish Government will start listening to their own scientists and lift their moratorium on fracking , with the proper controls and regulation in place.”