The Scottish Government is being urged not to renew an Ineos shale gas licence at the end of the month.
The licence, known as PEDL162, east of Glasgow, reaches the end of its exploration term on 30 June 2018.
Petitions signed by members of the public and local community councils call on the Scottish Energy Minister to exercise his new powers over the oil and gas industry and cancel the licence.
Onshore oil and gas licensing powers were devolved to Scottish Ministers under the Scotland Act 2016 on 9 February 2018.
PEDL162, issued in 2008, had a “drill-or-drop” commitment under which the licence holder should either:
“drill one well, or elect to allow the licence to automatically cease and determine pursuant to Clause 3.”
Ineos Upstream Ltd, which holds 80% of the licence, and its partner Reach Oil and Gas, have not complied with the commitment to drill a well. The companies also recently lost their legal challenge against the Scottish Government policy on fracking. (DrillOrDrop report)
More than 20 community councils and three community anti-fracking groups urged the Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, to cancel the PEDL162 licence. They said:
“This would protect Scottish Communities from the potential risks associated with this industry and avoid misleading the industry and the potential for substantial compensatory claims.”
A petition signed by more than 3,000 people was presented this week to the Scottish Green MSP Mark Ruskell who will deliver it to Mr Wheelhouse. Mr Ruskell has also submitted a question on the subject in the Scottish parliament.