Opinions are split nationally on the benefits – or otherwise – of fracking, the controversial method of extracting gas from underground shale beds.
Ineos, which holds the exploration licences for a huge swathe of the Central Lowlands of Scotland, this week claimed almost half the respondents to a nationwide poll backed fracking.
The March survey, according to the company, found 43 per cent support for fracking and 35 per cent of respondents opposed.
The firm polled 2035 adults in a Greenpeace-sponsored survey carried out by Com Res.
According to Greenpeace, in Scotland 43 per cent of respondents to the same poll were less likely to support a General Election candidate supporting fracking, with 28 per cent much less likely to support those candidates.
A Greenpeace spokesman said: “It’s odd for Ineos to be welcoming a survey showing that in Scotland, where the company wants to frack, more people oppose fracking than support it.
“Clearly, the cash sweeteners they are offering to affected communities are not quelling people’s concerns about this risky and unproven industry.
“Ineos has its work cut out in trying to persuade the Scottish public that digging up more fossil fuels is the future of our energy system.’’
Tom Crotty, of Ineos, hit back, saying: “Ineos will continue with our community engagement programme, aiming to speak directly to as many people as possible about this important issue and dispel as many of the untruths and myths as possible.”
Ineos has pledged to plough millions of pounds from fracking back into communities.
Fracking is a process by which natural gas is extracted for energy production from underground by drilling a hole, creating an explosion to fracture the rock and then injecting water, sand and chemicals at high pressure.