THE SNP government will finally publish around 1000 pages of analysis on the potential impact of fracking in Scotland today.

Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse will issue six reports, originally due out this summer, on the unconventional gas extraction technique, paving the way for a public consultation on licensing.

The files - on health, climate change, economics, transport, decommissioning and seismic activity - will be shared with other parties an hour before a statement at Holyrood.

Critics say fracking, which involves pumping pressurised water and chemicals into shale beds to release gas, is a risk to health and the environment.

Labour, LibDem and Green MSPs want to ban it, while the Conservatives support it.

Ineos, the owners of Grangemouth, who currently import fracked gas from America, also want to drill shale beds across central Scotland.

The SNP began a moratorium on fracking in January 2015 and their Holyrood manifesto said it would be banned unless it was “proven beyond doubt” there was “no risk”.

Labour environment spokeswoman Claudia Beamish said the government should ban it now.

“The climate change science is already irrefutable; we don’t need another fossil fuel and we shouldn’t lock ourselves into relying on one when we need to move on to clean energy.”

Mary Church of Friends of the Earth Scotland said: “Nations must commit to leaving fossil fuels in the ground and we hope that the Scottish Government will put climate change at the forefront of its decision-making on fracking.”

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks added: "Any considered review of the evidence should lead to the conclusion that there is no place for fracking in Scotland's energy future.”

Last month Mr Wheelhouse banned a separate unconventional gas technology which involves igniting coal underground to release gas. A spokesman for the government said its approach would be "precautionary, robust and evidence-based approach”.