Fracking still banned but Ineos’ licence to frack in Falkirk is extended

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Scottish ministers have yet again decided to extend Ineos’ licence to frack on Falkirk land for another year despite the country’s fracking ban still remaining in place.

In correspondence dated June 25, energy minister Paul Wheelhouse stated the Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence (PEDL) 162 – for 400 square kilometres of land to the south of Falkirk – held by Ineo Upstream Ltd was due to expire on June 30, but following “consideration of a request” submitted by the licensees he decided, for the second year, to extend the initial term of the licence for a further 12 months.

He added: “It would have been a dereliction of our responsibility as a competent licensing authority not to consider the request for an extension, taking into account all the relevant factors.

“The Scottish Government’s preferred policy position is not to support unconventional oil and gas extraction in Scotland, and that preferred position remains unchanged.”

PEDL 162 was originally granted by the Westminster government to Reach Coal Seam Gas back in 2008 and Ineos bought over the majority of the licence in 2014.

Ineos had not responded with comment as The Falkirk Herald went to press.