Coal has been important to the Scottish economy for many centuries, the result of coal-rich successions through a significant stratigraphical interval, a range of coal types, and many outcrops. Scottish mining engineers were in the forefront of the Industrial Revolution, and drilling for coal reserves generally predated comparable applications in the English fields. Peak production, in the early 20th century, was over 40 x 106 tonnes/year, with a decline to a mid/late 1990s output of less than 10 x 106 tonnes, including opencasted (surface-mined) coal (Fig. 17.1), the decline reflecting competition from other fuels and the depletion of the more accessible reserves. A broad review of the pre-1990s industry is given by Beveridge et al. (1991); potential and possible mining resources are described below. Recently, the potential for gas production from the coals has been investigated by deep drilling: the coalbed methane interest in Scotland is also discussed below. Underground gasification is a further possible energy option. With the exception of the small coalfield in the onshore Jurassic succession at Brora, all the coals are of Carboniferous age.