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Oil and gas conference to discuss fracking

OIL and gas experts are to debate how Scotland could benefit from a shale gas revolution at a landmark conference.

The Fracking Question conference in Edinburgh on Wednesday is said to be the first policy event to seriously investigate the potential benefits fracking can offer to Scotland and the UK.

Following an announcement by Ineos that it will invest £120 million at its Grangemouth plant to process liquefied ethane imported from US fracking operations, a specialist panel will examine if shale oil and gas can be a game-changer for UK energy security and pricing.

Fracking is credited with transforming the US energy industry, slashing wholesale and consumer gas prices and creating up to one million new jobs.

A recent report estimated that over the next 12 years, the fledgling shale gas industry could generate up to £5 billion in benefits for Scotland and could be worth between £30bn to £50bn to the UK GDP.

Potentially huge fracking gas reserves are believed to be located throughout Central Scotland and are thought to be spread as far as Aberdeen and Dumfries and Galloway.

Stuart Paton, former chief executive at Dana Petroleum and an expert in unconventional oil and gas, will cite the transformational experience of the US, which is set to become a net exporter of gas.

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