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Independent Expert Scientific Panel on Unconventional Oil & Gas

Independent Expert Scientific Panel on Unconventional Oil & Gas

The Scottish Government has convened an independent group of scientific experts to provide an independent, impartial evidence base on unconventional oil and gas upon which to inform a robust policy position. The independent scientific panel should deliver:

  • A robust, well-researched evidence base relating to unconventional oil & gas, upon which the Scottish Government can reliably base its policy that benefits the people of Scotland;
  • A well-developed narrative on the environmental and regulatory issues associated with unconventional gas;
  • An assessment of the resources available to Scotland.

The independent scientific panel will produce a final report that will evidence:

  • The potential magnitude of unconventional oil and gas reserves in Scotland and their commercial potential;
  • Whether the technology exists to allow their safe extraction;
  • The key environmental challenges relating to unconventional oil & gas;
  • Whether the current regulatory framework is adequate;
  • How the potential use of unconventional oil and gas resources in Scotland would sit with the Scottish Government’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gases;
  • How to successfully and constructively engage with communities and environmental groups in a meaningful, constructive and fact based debate on the merits or otherwise of the development of unconventional oil and gas reserves.

Panel Members were recommended by the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Scottish Government and include:

  • Dr Chris Masters (Chair)
  • Professor Stuart Haszeldine
  • Professor Paul Younger
  • Professor Zoe Shipton
  • Professor Susan Waldron
  • Professor Fin Stuart
  • Professor Ken Sorbie
  • Robert Gatliff
  • Professor James Curran

Their expertise spans the breadth of disciplines relevant to unconventional oil & gas – environmental, regulation, geological, engineering process and resource extraction. The Panel are also drawing on evidence from knowledgeable stakeholders.