Hydraulic fracturing will be banned indefinitely in Scotland, Scottish government ministers announced on Jan. 28.
The decision came just two days after the U.K. government ruled out a moratorium but voted to impose new conditions on operators looking to start shale gas extraction.
Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said that no new consents would be granted for unconventional oil and gas developments in Scotland while a public consultation is carried out and further research is done on the environmental and health implications of the controversial drilling technique.
Industry group U.K. Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG) said that it welcomed the chance to present the facts about fracking to the Scottish people.
"Scotland needs to produce its own oil and gas for both economic and energy security reasons. Scotland has led the way in the development of offshore oil and gas and should take this opportunity to do so again onshore. The onshore oil and gas industry looks forward to playing a very full part in this process," said Ken Cronin, chief executive of UKOOG.
Cronin argued that onshore gas and oil will benefit the Scottish economy, both directly as a result of jobs created through oil and gas extraction, and also indirectly, as oil and gas is a key raw material for the chemicals industry at facilities such as Grangemouth.
Ineos, which owns Grangemouth and has two shale licenses in Scotland comprising over 120,000 acres, this week called for the United Kingdom to embrace shale gas and said that it believes fracking can be done safely.