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Bringing a Farming Focus to Fracking

NFU Scotland is helping its members to drill down on the facts about fracking and what it might mean for farmers.

Some 80 members from parts of the Central Belt, where drilling for unconventional oil and gas (coal bed methane, and shale oil and gas) might occur in coming years, attended a special meeting on this subject this week.

They heard speakers from prospective unconventional gas developers Ineos Upstream; environmental regulator SEPA; solicitors Gillespie McAndrew and leading rural insurers NFU Mutual.  The panel session was joined by a representative of the Scottish Government’s Oil & Gas Team.

NFU Scotland’s Vice President Rob Livesey, who chaired the meeting said afterwards:

“The strong turnout and busy question and answer session shows that the farming sector is keen to be involved in the debate around fracking.

“Several key messages for our members emerged from the night.  It is apparent that any such developments are highly regulated and take time, with regulators and developers agreeing that protection of groundwater from contamination is a key issue.

“Those farmers affected are advised to take expert legal advice when negotiating contracts for access to land and give consideration to engaging an independent land agent.

“As a Union, we are aware that there is a shortage of those who may be suitably qualified to represent farmers and we will be approaching RICS to discuss how address this.

“We are also aware that current environmental liability provisions are both complex and not necessarily favourable to farmers in the event that a drilling company goes out of business.  We will be discussing this issue with SEPA in the near future.

“Feedback from members who attended the event – be they for, against or undecided about unconventional gas – was that it was an excellent event and they felt better informed about the issues.”  

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006
 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 178/14


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