Court rules fracking ‘not banned’ in Scotland

Ineos Grangemouth

Scotland’s Court of Session has ruled against Grangemouth refinery operator Ineos after it challenged a Scottish government moratorium against fracking for oil and gas.

Ineos had argued the Scottish government had imposed an unlawful ban on fracking in October 2017 and had sought a judicial review to overturn it.

However, the Court of Session said the Scottish government had not imposed a ban, despite several statements to that effect.

The court said the Scottish government has an “emerging and unfinalised planning policy expressing no support on the part of the Scottish government” for fracking.

Ineos ships shale gas from the United States to supply Grangemouth and holds the rights, expiring on June 30, to explore for gas between Glasgow and Falkirk.

“We welcome the decision announced by Lord Pentland today,” said Tom Pickering , operations director, Ineos Shale.

“We are in the extraordinary position where a senior judge has effectively concluded that the Scottish Government did not know what it was doing.

“He has ruled that there is no fracking ban in Scotland.

“We are sure that this will be a surprise to all those who heard the First Minister and others repeatedly tell Holyrood the exact opposite.

“It is for MSPs to decide whether Parliament was misled deliberately or simply through incompetence …

“It is astonishing how the government could have got this so wrong …

“If Scotland wants to be considered as a serious place to do business then it is imperative that Government ministers can be taken at their word.

“We cannot have a situation where we need to go to court to find out what government policy is.

“Business needs a  transparent environment that will encourage investment in Scotland for the long-term.”