Parts of Kincardine and Mearns could be opened up to fracking after they have been included in latest round of onshore licensing.
The UK Government Department for Energy and Climate change, launched this past week the 14th onshore licensing round, making parts south of Stonehaven, Laurencekirk and Inverbervie available for initial exploration.
Ministers opened the bidding process on Monday July 28, for companies seeking licences to explore for onshore oil and gas, to help discover how the gas under our feet can help power our homes.
The launch of this latest licensing round is the first in six years and follows the publication of research from the British Geological Survey.
Business and Energy Minister Matthew Hancock said: “Unlocking shale gas in Britain has the potential to provide us with greater energy security, jobs and growth. We must act carefully, minimising risks, to explore how much of our large resource can be recovered to give the UK a new home-grown source of energy. As one of the cleanest fossil fuels, shale gas can be a key part of the UK’s answer to climate change and a bridge to a much greener future.”
The local Green Party is voicing its concerns about the possibility of fracking taking place in the southen part of the Aberdeenshire Council area.
Rachel Shanks, spokesperson for Stonehaven Greens, said: “There will be understandable concern about the potential local environmental impact of fracking activity.
“More generally, we must urgently reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels or risk dangerous levels of climate change. We already know of more fossil fuel reserves than can be safely used. So it makes no sense to be seeking additional sources of fossil fuels.
“The Scottish Green Party is strongly opposed to using fracking to extract shale gas.”