Unconventional oil and gas consultation: analysis of responses

Independent analysis of the Talking 'Fracking' consultation.

Glossary of technical terms, abbreviations and acknowledgements

Glossary of technical terms

The following terms were used in the consultation paper and are also used in this report.

Coal bed methane An unconventional source of gas because the gas is absorbed in the coal rather than being held in pore spaces.
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.
Fracking The common name for hydraulic fracturing – a drilling technique used to exact oil and gas contained in shale rock.
Fugitive emission The escape of gasses or vapours from industrial equipment due to leaks or other unintended causes, during industrial activities.
Greenhouse gas Any gaseous compound in the atmosphere that is capable of absorbing infrared radiation, thereby trapping and holding heat in the atmosphere.
Hydraulic fracturing A drilling technique, commonly referred to as 'fracking', which involves fracturing rock to release the oil and gas contained in the rocks.
Liquefied natural gas ( LNG) Gas, chiefly methane, liquefied for transportation.
Moratorium A temporary prohibition of an activity.
Natural gas A source of energy, typically composed of a mixture of hydrocarbons such as methane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen.
Seismic activity Vibration of the ground or earthquakes due to natural or man-made causes.
Shale gas A form of natural gas trapped within shale rock.
Shale rock An impermeable rock from which natural oil and gas can be extracted.
Unconventional oil and gas Oil and gas deposits contained in impermeable rocks, such as shale or coal. In such cases, the oil or gas cannot easily flow through the reservoir. Therefore to extract the oil and gas from the rock, techniques such as hydraulic fracturing must be used.
Well A hole drilled into the earth by a drilling rig to explore for, or extract oil and / or natural gas.


The following abbreviations are used in this report.

GDP Gross Domestic Product
HSE Health and Safety Executive
SEPA Scottish Environmental Protection Agency
SNH Scottish Natural Heritage

Note about terminology used in the analysis

The following terms are used in this report specifically in relation to the responses received in the consultation and in relation to the analysis of those responses.

Campaign response A response submitted through a co-ordinated campaign, often using standard text provided by the campaign organiser. Campaign responses are of two types – standard and non-standard (see below for definitions).
Standard campaign response A response to the consultation in which the respondent simply added their name to the standard text provided by a campaign organiser without making any changes to it.
Non-standard campaign response A response to the consultation in which the respondent edited the standard text provided by a campaign organiser or added their own comments to it before submitting it (usually via the campaign organiser's website).
Substantive response A response drafted by a respondent using their own words (and not submitted through a co-ordinated campaign), or a non-standard campaign response. The use of the term 'substantive' here is not intended to imply that such responses were lengthier or more substantial than, for example, standard campaign responses – simply that the responses were original or, in the case of non-standard campaign responses, were personalised.
Petition A response to the consultation comprising an introductory statement (the petition statement) followed by a list of signatories and their contact details.
Predominant views The views expressed most frequently and by the widest range of respondents. (See Chapter 3 for further details.)
Alternative views The views expressed by a small number of respondents within limited subgroups. (See Chapter 3 for further details.)


We would like to thank Elizabeth Leighton for her assistance with the technical aspects of this project, and in identifying and collating references to research evidence cited in the responses. We would like to thank Karin, Sean and Lily for their assistance with data input.


Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
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