Media Release: Major Scots conference taking place on fracking

THE first major conference in Scotland on fracking will examine the potential impact of the technology on the energy mix and energy pricing.

Expert speakers will look at a broad range of issues around the extraction of shale oil and gas by fracking (hydraulic fracturing) and associated technologies.

The US energy market has been revolutionised by fracking in recent years and Professor Gordon Hughes will open The Scotsman Conferences event by arguing that fracking is the just latest disruptive technology which tackles severe challenges around energy security and brings prices down.

“The UK energy narrative is currently based on a simple premise – that resources will continue to decline and prices will keep on rising,” said David Lee of The Scotsman Conferences. “Fracking challenges that basic premise – the extraction of very significant quantities of oil and gas and a consequent reduction in fuel prices suggests that the low-resource, high-cost vision of the future might not be the right one.”

The conference takes a global view, then focuses on the UK and Scotland and the potential impact on our energy mix of global shale oil and gas extraction – and the possible opportunities here.

Duarte Figueira, head of Unconventional Gas and Oil at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, is another keynote speaker, while Stephen O’Rourke of energy analysts Wood Mackenzie will look at the potential global impacts of shale oil and gas.

Stuart Paton, a former chief executive of oil company Dana Petroleum plc and now an adviser to the shale oil and gas industry, will offer a perspective of someone who has moved from the conventional to the unconventional oil and gas fields. Ken Cronin, chief executive of UK Onshore Oil and Gas, will look at the opportunities and challenges in the UK, while Jennifer Ballantyne, a partner with event sponsor Pinsent Masons, will examine the legal challenges around shale oil and gas extraction.

There will also be perspectives from the nuclear and the renewables industry to put fracking and its potential in a broader energy context.

“We hope our excellent range of informed speakers can shed real light on what the shift to shale oil and gas might mean,” said Mr Lee. “This is not a fracking: good or bad? conference, it is a serious look at the impact it might have on energy markets globally, and closer to home.”

The event – on Wednesday December 11, at The Scottish National Galleries in Edinburgh- will be chaired by Peter Jones, writer and commentator for The Economist and The Scotsman.

For more details, and bookings, go to: / call: 0131 620 8656 / email:

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Contact: Rebecca Thompson
Phone: 0131 620 8212