Although the Scottish Government and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency hold a range of site-specific emissions data
, data on feedstock delivery and specific processes that take place in individual sites is not available. The Scottish Government therefore does not hold information on the CO2 emissions from imported ethane gas for particular sites. Emissions from the production of shale gas will be captured in the inventory of the country of origin.
The Scottish Government continues to value the contribution that Grangemouth makes to the Scottish economy. We are supportive of the investment there and the efforts to ensure a sustainable future for the petrochemical and refinery business. Obviously, decisions about sourcing supply for that are a matter for the company.
As we have seen from discussions over the past few weeks, we need to be extraordinarily careful about adopting any kind of gung-ho or rushed approach to the industry. The Government’s job is to base decisions on evidence. The Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy’s statement yesterday made it very clear that we will proceed on the basis of the research that is available. We will come to a considered judgment on unconventional oil and gas by the end of 2017.
The report on unconventional gas decommissioning that was launched yesterday found that there are big gaps in the regulations and that the full costs of restoration are unlikely to be known until the end of any project. Given the failure of the coal industry to successfully clean up the toxic legacy that it left behind in areas such as west Fife, will the cabinet secretary commit to including full liability for environmental clean-up costs in the Government’s consideration of the economics of unconventional gas?
Clearly we will look at that. I understand why there is a huge amount of concern about the issue and I can assure the chamber that the Scottish Government is treating it with the seriousness that it deserves. There were some indications in the expert conclusions that there was low risk of post-decommissioning well failure. We are looking very carefully at the issue and we will be taking that into consideration as we move forward.