Unconventional oil and gas policy: SEA

Environmental report for the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of our preferred policy position on unconventional oil and gas in Scotland.


AQMA Air Quality Management Area
Bcf Billion cubic feet
BGS British Geological Survey
C Carbon
CAR Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011
CBM Coal bed methane
CCC Committee on Climate Change
CCRA Climate Change Risk Assessment
CCS Carbon Capture and Storage
CH4 Methane
CO Carbon monoxide
COMAH The Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015
CO2 Carbon dioxide
COPD Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
DAS Distributed Acoustic Sensing
DECC Department of Energy and Climate Change (incorporated into newly formed Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in July 2016.
DTS Distributed Temperature Sensing
DWQR Drinking Water Quality Regulator
EC/EU European Commission/European Union
EIA Environmental Impact Assessment
EPS European Protected Species
ESCAPE European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects
EU ETS EU Emissions Trading System
FBG Fibre Bragg gratings
FP Flowback and Produced (water)
Ft Foot – unit of length
GCR Geological Conservation Review
GHG Greenhouse gas
HAP Hazardous air pollutant
HES Historic Environment Scotland
HPS Health Protection Scotland
HRA Habitats Regulations Appraisal
HSE Health and Safety Executive
H2O Water (liquid or vapour)
ICF International Climate Fund
IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Km2 Square kilometres
KPMG An accounting firm and one of the Big Four Auditors. KPMG stands for Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler
Kt Kilotonnes
LNG Liquefied natural gas
m3 Cubic metres
MEW The Management of Extractive Waste (Scotland) 2010 Regulations
ML Richter Magnitude (or Local Magnitude) – measure of earthquake magnitude
MMBOE Million barrels of oil equivalent
Mt Million tonnes
MtCO2e Million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent
NDPB Non Departmental Public Body
NH3 Ammonia
NMVOC Non-methane volatile organic compounds
NNR National Nature Reserves
N2O Nitrous oxide
NO Nitric oxide
NORM Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material
NOx Nitrogen oxides
NPF National Planning Framework
NRW Natural Resources Wales
NSA National Scenic Area
O3 Ground level ozone
ONS Office for National Statistics
PAH Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
PAN Planning Advice Note
PEDL Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence
PM1 Particulate matter up to 1 micrometre in diameter
PM2.5 Particulate matter up to 2.5 micrometres in diameter
PM10 Particulate matter up to 10 micrometres in diameter
PPC Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012
RBMP River Basin Management Plan
RSA Radioactive Substances Act 1993
SAC Special Area of Conservation
SEA Strategic Environmental Assessment
SEPA Scottish Environment Protection Agency
SNH Scottish Natural Heritage
SO2 Sulphur dioxide
SOx Sulphur oxides
SPA Special Protection Area
SSSI Site of Special Scientific Interest
Tcf Trillion cubic feet
tCO2 Tonnes CO2
TWh TeraWatt
UKCP09 UK Climate Projections 2009
UN United Nations
UOG Unconventional Oil and Gas
VOC Volatile organic compounds
WHO World Health Organisation

Abandonment A phase of decommissioning for an oil and gas well.
Associated liquids Natural liquids that are produced as an associated product to shale gas. It is estimated that 75% of ‘existing’ shale gas pads also produce associated liquids.
Associated gas Natural gas produced with crude oil from the same reservoir.
Barrel A unit of volume measurement used for oil and its products.
Borehole A hole drilled into the earth. Boreholes can be used to remove core samples of rock for geologic analysis. A borehole that is used to extract oil or gas or water is sometimes called a well.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Carbon capture and storage is a technology that can capture the carbon dioxide emissions produced from the use of fossil fuels, preventing the carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
Casing Metal pipe inserted into a wellbore and cemented in place to protect subsurface formations.
Coal bed methane Coal bed methane is considered to be an unconventional source of gas because the gas is absorbed in the coal rather than being held in pore spaces.
Coal field An extensive area containing a number of underground coal strata.
Completion The installation of permanent downhole and wellhead equipment for the production of oil and gas.
Conventional oil and gas Oil and gas that is recovered by drilling a well in porous rock, with the oil or gas flowing out under its own pressure.
Decommissioning The process to remove all the equipment used for production of unconventional oil and gas and return the site to its original condition and use.
Drilling pad A hard standing area for development of drilling wells and production of gas and oil.
Drilling rig The equipment used to drill holes into the earth called boreholes and wells.
Exploration well Drilling carried out to determine whether hydrocarbons are present in a particular area or structure.
Field A geographical area under which an oil or gas reservoir lies.
Fugitive emission Emissions of gasses or vapours from industrial equipment due to leaks or other unintended or irregular releases, during industrial activities.
Gas field A field containing natural gas but no oil.
Greenhouse gas A greenhouse gas is any gaseous compound in the atmosphere that is capable of absorbing infrared radiation, thereby trapping and holding heat in the atmosphere.
Hazard/risk A hazard is a potential source of harm, e.g. electricity, chemicals, stress. A risk is the likelihood, or chance, that something will cause harm.
Hydraulic fracturing A drilling technique, commonly referred to as ‘fracking’, that fractures rock to release the oil and gas contained in the rocks.
Hydrocarbon A compound containing the elements hydrogen and carbon. May exist as a solid, a liquid or a gas. The term is mainly used in a catch-all sense for oil, gas and condensate.
Liquefied natural gas Gas, chiefly methane, liquefied for transportation.
Moratorium A temporary prohibition in an activity.
Natural gas Natural gas is a source of energy. It is typically composed of a mixture of hydrocarbons such as methane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen.
Natural gas liquids The portions of gas from a reservoir that can be liquefied. Ethane, propane, butane, isobutene, and pentane are all natural gas liquids.
Oil A mixture of liquid hydrocarbons.
Operator A company that has legal authority to drill wells and to access hydrocarbons.
Pad Onshore development and production platform/area which can have multiple wells associated with it.
Petrochemicals Chemical products obtained from petroleum/natural oil and gas. Companies supply petrochemicals for use in manufacturing and production.
Petroleum A generic name for hydrocarbons, including crude oil, natural gas liquids, natural gas and their products.
Reserve The amount of technically and economically recoverable oil and gas in a particular location.
Reservoir The underground formation where oil and gas has accumulated. It consists of a rock formation to hold the oil or gas, and a cap rock that prevents its escape.
Resource The amount of estimated oil and gas in a particular location.
Seismic activity Vibration of the ground or earthquakes due to natural or artificial causes.
Shale gas Shale gas is a form of natural gas trapped within shale rock or other formations of low permeability.
Shale oil Shale oil is a form of oil trapped within shale rock or other formations of low permeability.
Shale rock Shale is an impermeable rock from which natural oil and gas can be extracted.
Unconventional oil and gas The term ‘unconventional’ refers to the types of geology in which the oil and natural gas are found. For the purpose of this SEA, unconventional oil and gas includes shale gas, associated liquids and coal bed methane.
Well The hole drilled by a drilling rig to explore for or develop oil and/or natural gas.
Wellhead The equipment at the surface of a well that is used to control the pressure; the point at which the hydrocarbons and water exit the ground.

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