Cumbernauld and Kilsyth sites are in the frame for controversial fracking plans, with the launch of a new onshore oil and gas licensing round from the UK Government.
It means the scene could be set for environmental protests over sites such as Deerdykes, which has already come under the spotlight (but where no fracking has been either planned or ruled out).
Friends of the Earth head of campaigns Mary Church said: “Under UK Government plans some of the most densely populated parts of Scotland could end up with the fracking industry as neighbours.
“Tens of thousands of people will be understandably worried about what this means for homes, their health and local environment.”
“Climate science tells us we must rapidly move away from oil and gas towards a clean, renewable energy future if we are to avoid a catastrophic global temperature rise.
“It is utterly irresponsible to open up a new frontier of dirty fossil fuels.”
The Department for Energy and Climate Change’s announcement invites companies to tender for exclusive rights to exploit shale gas and other unconventional fossil fuels.