PM Ungureanu signed the agreement with Chevron to exploit shale gas
Poisoning the Black Sea
Postat la: 29.03.2012 06:17 | Scris de: ZIUA NEWS
The Government agreed with Chevron to poison the shale gas • The shale gas business is more important to Ungureanu than the warning of the western countries • The method of hydraulic fracturing used to exploit shale gas has catastrophic effects to the environment • The groundwater that supplies water to România, Ucraina, Bulgaria and Turcia may become infested with highly poisonous substances • The method used by Chevron to exploit the gas may generate devastating earthquakes • România risks serious disagreements with its neighbouring states
Government Ungureanu approved today an economic partnership with Chevron that may lead to poisoning of the Black Sea and devastating earthquakes. The PM decided upon the beginning in 2012 of shale gas well drilling - unconventional natural gas - for perimeters Vama Veche, Adamclisi and Costineşti.
The subject has been initiated by President Traian Băsescu, who talked about the economic potential of shale gas in Romania in a public speech at the beginning of this month. Laszlo Borbely, Minister of Environment, specified as early as then that the President had already been contacted by Chevron representatives to set the foundation of a new collaboration with Romania. The Americans already own an unconventional natural gas perimeter in Bârlad perimeter.
România took the right political decision to associate with a view to exploit shale gas, while Bulgaria declined the offer of the American company since mid-January. Even more, the Sofia Government announced that they had cancelled the license given to Chevron to exploit the shale gas reserves and that a new law was drafted to completely forbid this type of drilling because of environmental impact fears. However, the decision of Romania will affect Bulgaria too, especially due to the fact that the shale gas drilling is extremely environment unfriendly and may cause, as you will see below, the poisoning of the groundwater between Romania and Bulgaria, may generate earthquakes and, lastly but not least, will irremediably compromise marine environment.
Maybe the most devastating consequence of hydraulic fracturing shale gas drilling is the poisoning of the groundwater that will affect not only the population of Romania, but also of neighbouring or close countries, like Ukraine, Bulgaria and Turcia. In fact, there is a fresh water river under the Black Sea that states with seaside borders have access to. The hydraulic fracturing method - the only method used to drill for shale gas - poison the fresh water with extremely toxic chemical compounds.
This water will eventually reach the groundwater of countries that have access to the Black Sea. Romania will cash Euro-dollars dirty with the pollution of the sea and of three neighbouring states fresh water supply.
Advice of Specialists
Contacted by ZIUAnews, prof. Univ. Dr. Ing. Marian Rizea explained for us the manner that this drilling method affects the environment.
„Using the hydraulic fracturing as a method to drill the rough 40-60 billion cubic metres of shale gas should also take into account its effects on the marine, underground and terrestrial environment. Nobody could say with all certainty what direction the chasms will develop or the drilling fluid, made up of chemical compounds, will move.
They could easily reach the groundwater in the Black Sea area, where we have an underground treasure, a fresh water lake that extends to Bulgaria.
Since it is impossible to know their layers, there is also the risk of chasms with random trajectory to allow the exit into the sea of large quantity of natural gas, even in navy shipping routes. Effects are not difficult to anticipate."
Modern world refused to exploit shale gas because of potential catastrophes
While countries like France, United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Canada and 18 American states forbade using technologies similar to what Chevron plans to use in Romania, Ungureanu quickly agreed.
United Kingdom stopped the shale gas drilling in Lancashire fearing earthquakes, according to informatia-zilei. Two earthquakes happened in two months since the beginning of the procedures. Earthquakes happened in Blackpool area for the same reason, and in German land Westfalia-Northern Renania the local parliament prepares to adopt a moratorium on the same topic.
In Oklahoma, state with several shale gas drilling wells, 1,047 earthquakes happened in 2010 only, although the number of yearly earthquakes did not exceed 50 before.
The hydraulic fracturing is also forbidden in New York and Pennsylvania. Several inhabitants recorded themselves firing the tap water contaminated with natural gas, which induced panic to authorities to such an extent they stopped the ongoing projects.
Burning fuel from shale gas wells is more environmental friendly than coal or oil, due to its reduced CO2 emissions. But the environment issues relate to the exploitation, methods used but mainly to the effects they generate. That is the reason why the E.U. states refuse to use the hydraulic fracturing drilling, at least until E.U. completes the evironmental impact study.
Unlike the conventional natural gas which is found in natural rock formations, the shale gas is dispersed among rocks, being extremely difficult to drill. Drilling wells are inserted into the ground to the rock layer level and high pressure is generated to violently break the rock in order to release the gas, which is pumped to the surface by the method of hydraulic fracturing. The drilling fluid used in hydraulic fracturing contains additives and substances from the shale rock, like heavy metals, hydrocarbures or even radioactive elements.
Drilling the shale gas, also called unconventional gas, is widely spread in the USA, where dozens of thousands of surface wells can be found. The shale gas currently represents more than 50% of the total gas consumption in the USA.
The American success determined other states as well to try to provide their energy independence to Russian and Arabic gas. Several countries attempted to identify this highly valuable resource on their land and invested more in drilling it.
Ukraine is presently the European country with the most important shale gas resources, estimated at more than 30,000 billions of cubic metres. Poland, strong supporter of shale gas drilling, comes second with approximately 5,500 billion cubic metres.
The result of the recent Black Sea area prospects highlighted the fact that Romania possess high reserves of shale gas gathered between shale layers, which increased the interest of the oil industry giants for our country.
"There are huge resources of shale gas in Romania, and many companies are very interested in them. In Platforma Moesica only we estimate that there are resources compared to what the USA and Poland have", Bogdan Popescu, Director of Zeta Petroleum declared.