Fracking will not be developed any further in Scotland, the Scottish Government has concluded.
Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said the method of fuel extraction would be “incompatible” with the government’s environmental policies.
Known as onshore unconventional oil and gas extraction, fracking involves injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rocks to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas.
Critics claim the process can destroy drinking water supplies, pollute the air, contribute to the greenhouse gases that cause global warming and trigger earthquakes.
The government is set to put in place policy which would make it impossible for later administration’s to reverse the decision, without winning the support of parliament.
MSP Mark Ruskell claimed victory for his party, after the Scottish Greens raised the issue in 2012.
He said: “We’ve pushed the Scottish Government all the way on this issue and have worked with communities across the country to highlight the major public health and environmental concerns that fracking presented.
“Now the moratorium on planning decisions has been lifted Ministers must move to reject Ineos’s application to exploit gas in the Forth Valley.
“Communities have lived under the shadow of a Coal Bed Methane development since 2012 and in some cases residents have even struggled to sell their houses.
“The final nail in the coffin for fracking in Scotland would be a speedy rejection of this development bringing years of uncertainty to an end.”
Mr Wheelhouse said: “(The) decision followed consideration of many factors including the significant negative effects that UOG development could have on our natural environment and the health and wellbeing of communities, while bearing in mind the overwhelming feedback from the public that this should not be permitted in Scotland.
“After a comprehensive evidence-gathering exercise, we have concluded that the development of onshore unconventional oil and gas is incompatible with our policies on climate change, energy transition and the decarbonisation of our economy.
“Fracking can only happen if licences are issued and we do not intend to issue any licences which would permit that.”