Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα shale gas. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα shale gas. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Τρίτη, Ιανουαρίου 06, 2015

ΗΠΑ: Το Φθηνό Φυσικό Αέριο Εκτοπίζει τα Πυρηνικά από την Παραγωγή Ηλεκτρικής Ενέργειας

Η πυρηνική ενέργεια φαίνεται ότι είναι ένα -ακόμα- από τα «θύματα» της επανάστασης του shale gas στις ΗΠΑ, καθώς το κόστος της παραγωγής ηλεκτρικής ενέργειας από φυσικό αέριο είναι πλέον τόσο χαμηλό που απειλεί ευθέως την οικονομική βιωσιμότητα των πυρηνικών μονάδων.


Η μεγαλύτερη αμερικανική επιχείρηση στον τομέα της πυρηνικής ενέργειας, Exelon Corp, ανακοίνωσε τις προηγούμενες ημέρες ότι θα πρέπει να διπλασιάσει τις τιμές πώλησης της ηλεκτρικής ενέργειας προκειμένου να συνεχίσει να λειτουργεί η μονάδα της στη Νέα Υόρκη.

Οι ρυθμιστικές αρχές της Πολιτείας της Νέας Υόρκης έχουν περιθώριο έως τις 15 Ιανουαρίου προκειμένου να εγκρίνουν τα νέα τιμολόγια που ζητεί η επιχείρηση. Συγκεκριμένα, ζητεί τιμές που είναι κατά 83% υψηλότερες σε σχέση με τις τιμές χονδρικής, προκειμένου η μονάδα Ginna να είναι κερδοφόρος.

Η συγκεκριμένη μονάδα είναι μία εκ των δέκα συνολικά στις ΗΠΑ που δεν μπορούν να συνεχίσουν να λειτουργούν με βάση τις τρέχουσες τιμές, σύμφωνα με την Moody's Investors Service.

Απ' αυτές τις μονάδες προέρχεται το 10% της εθνικής παραγωγής πυρηνικής ενέργειας.

Όπως επισημαίνουν οι αναλυτές, δύο είναι οι κύριοι παράγοντες που άλλαξαν τους όρους του παιχνιδιού για την πυρηνική ενέργεια στις ΗΠΑ: Το φθηνό και «άφθονο» φυσικό αέριο και σε μικρότερο βαθμό οι επιδοτήσεις προς τις Ανανεώσιμες Πηγές Ενέργειας (κυρίως τα φωτοβολταϊκά και τα αιολικά).

Το 2013 έκλεισαν τέσσερις μονάδες στις ΗΠΑ, με αποτέλεσμα για φέτος για πρώτη φορά τις τελευταίες δεκαετίες οι μονάδες παραγωγής ηλεκτρικής ενέργειας να είναι λιγότερες από 100.

Οι αναλυτές εκτιμούν ότι μέσα στα επόμενα χρόνια ίσως βάλουν «λουκέτο» άλλες 15 μονάδες.
 [energia.gr]
6/1/15

Πέμπτη, Οκτωβρίου 23, 2014

Environmental Watchdog Finds Oil, Gas Companies Using Cancer-Causing Chemicals

WASHINGTON, October 23  - Oil and gas companies are exploiting federal loopholes to frack with cancer-causing petroleum-based products, a report by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) said.

"Despite a federal ban on the use of diesel fuel in hydraulic fracturing without a permit, several oil and gas companies are exploiting a Safe Drinking Water Act loophole, pushed through by Halliburton to frack with petroleum-based products, containing even more dangerous toxic chemicals than diesel," a statement published on the watchdog's website Wednesday said.


The group found that one of the primary ingredients in fluids, used in fracking, contains a highly toxic chemical called benzene, which is more toxic than diesel fuel and harmful to drinking water supplies and public health.

According to the statement, permits are required for fracking with diesel fuel; however, companies can inject other petroleum products even more toxic than diesel without using a permit.

"This double standard illustrates what happens when Congress manipulates environmental statutes for the benefit of polluters, instead of allowing EPA [US Environmental Protection Agency] to make public health decisions based on the best available science," EIP Executive Director and former Director of Civil Enforcement at EPA Eric Schaeffer said in the statement.

Halliburton, the company that pushed for the 2005 loophole which exempts fracking from the requirements of the 1973 Safe Drinking Water Act is one of the largest fracking companies.

The study recommends that Congress should revise and repeal the 2005 loophole by advising the US Environmental Protection Agency to require safeguards for the Safe Drinking Water Act from using chemicals that contain large amounts of benzene and other toxic chemicals.

(RIA Novosti)
23/10/14
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Σάββατο, Οκτωβρίου 18, 2014

Fracking: China's 2015 shale gas output to hit 6.5 bln cubic meters

BEIJING, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- China's shale gas output will likely hit 6.5 billion cubic meters next year, up from an estimated output between 1 billion and 1.5 billion cubic meters this year, vice director of the National Energy Administration Zhang Yuqing predicted.

Shale gas production in recent years has seen leapfrog development since the country started to survey and explore the energy source in 2009, Zhang said at a workshop held in Beijing on Friday.
The output surge has come with increasing use of natural gas in China. Government data showed that domestic natural gas output hit 117.1 billion cubic meters in 2013, up 9.5 percent year on year. However, the production was short of demand. Total natural gas consumption stood at 167.5 billion cubic meters, up 10 percent year on year.

The country must rely on imports to make up for the supply shortage. Currently, 30 percent of the natural gas China consumes is imported.

Shale gas is an important unconventional source of natural gas. So far the reserves being invested in for exploration have hit 130 billion cubic meters in the country, Zhang said.
[xinhuanet.com]
18/10/14
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Δευτέρα, Σεπτεμβρίου 29, 2014

Ukraine’s Naftogaz calls for new gas transit deal with Russia

BERLIN, September 29. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine cannot guarantee reliable Russian gas transit supplies through the country, Ukrainian state-run oil and gas holding Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolev said in an interview with German business daily Handelsblatt on Monday.
“We urgently need a new transit treaty, otherwise, we cannot guarantee non-stop (Russian gas) transit through Ukraine,” he said.
Ukraine needs transit contracts which would be concluded between Naftogaz’s subsidiary Ukrtransgaz, Russian energy giant Gazprom and Eustream, operator of the gas transmission system which would represent European interests.

The signing of a new addendum to the contract between Gazprom and Naftogaz (if all parties to the deal agree on new terms of supplies) does not secure non-stop Russian gas transit delivery to Europe, because Ukraine did not pump necessary gas amounts in underground storages, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller said last Saturday. Seven billion cubic metres of gas should be pumped to reach a 17 bcm comfortable level for this autumn and winter. Miller is convinced that if harsh frost sets in, Ukraine may start taking gas from Russian gas supplies to Europe.

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A new package deal which was discussed at a tripartite meeting in Germany’s capital Berlin on September 26 offers Ukraine to repay $3.1 billion of debt to Gazprom for already delivered gas before the end of the year. 

In this case, Gazprom will deliver five bcm of gas to Ukraine and will give an option for another five bcm. The gas price will make $385 per 1,000 cu m thanks to a $100 discount which is granted only for six months. On September 26, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk confirmed a preliminary agreement to conclude a package accord before the end of Stockholm arbitration proceedings.
Meanwhile, the issue of Ukraine’s debt repayment is unclear. Russia and the EU share the position that $2 billion should be repaid before the end of October, the Gazprom CEO said. However, at talks Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan insisted on paying $1.5 billion only at the end of the first month of Russian gas supply to Ukraine (in October) if the delivery is resumed.
Next gas talks between officials from Russia, the EU and Ukraine are expected to be held on October 2.


Gas transit via Ukraine
  • The throughput capacity of the Ukrainian gas transportation is 288 billion cubic meters at the entrance and 178.5 billion cubic meters at the exit, including 142.5 billion cubic meters to European countries and 3.5 billion cubic meters to Moldova.
  • Ukraine’s gas transportation system consists of 72 compressor stations, 110 production shops and 1,451 gas distribution stations. The overall length of gas pipelines operated by the company is 38,600 kilometers, including 22,200 kilometers of trunk pipelines and 16,400 kilometers of extensions.
[itar-tass.com]
29/9/14
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Σάββατο, Αυγούστου 16, 2014

Kiev fights in Ukraine’s southeast for shale gas deposits to be controlled by US (Aleksey Pushkov)

The control over Ukraine’s southeast is important for Kiev first of all because of the shale gas deposits, which Western countries should be developing, head of the State Duma’s international affairs committee Aleksey Pushkov said on Saturday....
“Kiev is fighting in Ukraine’s east for the gas reserves: Germany says the reserves make 5,578 billion cubic metres (bcm) [the U.S. reserves are 8,976 bcm]. Control will be from the U.S.,” he wrote on Twitter. The Yuzivska shale gas field is at the border between the Kharkov and Donetsk regions.
The resources are estimated at over four trillion cubic metres. In May 2012, British-Netherlands Shell won the competition for development. Another company, certified for development of deposits in the Dnepropetrovsk-Donetsk area is Ukraine’s Burisma, where recently son of the U.S. Vice President Joe Biden became a member of the board of directors.
Residents of Slavyansk, which is the centre of the Yuzivska deposit, within several past year organised protests against development of the deposit. They even planned to organise a referendum on the issue.
Ecologists are concerned about consequences from hydrofracturing used in production of shale gas. 
They say the chemicals used are highly poisonous and may affect not only water, but also the air. Experts say utilisation of poisonous substances is still an overdue issue worldwide. The media report many countries have refused from developing deposits of the kind in their own territories - the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and France.

 http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/745305
16/8/14
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Σάββατο, Ιουλίου 26, 2014

Les USA fourniront du gaz en France.

On apprend que le 17 juillet une filiale du groupe d'énergie « Cheniere » a signe avec EDF un contrat pour la livraison de gaz naturel liquéfié, 770 000 tonnes par an, et ce pour la durée de 20 ans.

Donc, la question se pose: en France, on ne permet pas l’extraction du gaz de schiste par la méthode de coups hydrauliques, mais, derrière, on signe un contrat avec les Etats-Unis qui ont proposé leurs services aux pays européens.

Comment peut-on alors considérer cette décision de la compagnie nationale énergétique française? Nous adressons cette question à Henry Hude, écrivain et philosophe.


Henry Hude. Nous avons la même chose entre la France et l’Allemagne : l’Allemagne a banni le nucléaire et, en même temps, ils importent de l’électricité française qui est produite en grande partie par des centrales nucléaires. Il y a dans tout cela une part d’hypocrisie et peut-être aussi de nécessité politique. Mais il ne faut pas exagérer. J’ai regardé les chiffres : pour EDF, c’est un petit contrat. Cela représente 1,5% de notre consommation dans 2 ou 3 ans et 0,5% aujourd’hui, en supposant qu’on puisse importer cette énergie. Cela reste relativement marginal.

La Voix de la Russie. Je comprends très bien. Mais ce n’est pas seulement la quantité qui est importante. Ce qui compte, c’est le geste. La France est beaucoup critiquée pour être à la merci ou à l’écoute des Etats-Unis, même si c’est difficile à mesurer. Ne pensez-vous donc pas que c’est un geste qui pourrait déclencher une avalanche de critiques vis-à-vis de la France et de ses relations avec les Etats-Unis ?

Henry Hude. Ecoutez, je pense qui y a déjà un problème interne à la France au départ, à l’intérieur de la majorité gouvernementale, un désaccord entre les écologistes et les autres, car la France ne permet pas l’exploitation des gaz de schiste. Mais ce geste s’inscrit aussi a l’intérieur de la politique internationale, c’est certain. EDF est contrôlé par l’Etat à 85% donc ce sont des décisions d’Etat. Il y a l’affaire du Mistral, l’affaire des « sanctions », l’affaire BNP, l’affaire de la Deutsche Bank, … La France comme l’Allemagne est sous pression américaine pour durcir ses positions face à la Russie… Il est possible que cette affaire de gaz soit une concession qui ne coûte pas trop cher. C’est comme ça que je le vois, mais je n’ai pas les moyens de le prouver.

Ces contrats interviennent à un moment ou le PDG d’EDF a des problèmes fiscaux à cause de sa très jeune femme. Je vous passe les détails, mais il faudrait être journaliste d’investigation pour savoir quels sont exactement les tenants et aboutissants de cette affaire.

LVdlR. Faut-il systématiquement rattacher un problème quelconque économique (et là, on parle de fourniture d’électricité ou d’énergie tout simplement) à un aspect politique ? Par exemple, il y a beaucoup de reproches vis-à-vis des Verts qui disent « Il ne faut pas utiliser le gaz de schiste. Il ne fait pas utiliser l’énergie nucléaire. Il ne faut pas ceci, pas cela… » Je sais qu’il y a des voix qui disent : dans la conjoncture actuelle de difficulté économique, il faut essayer par tous les moyens de produire l’énergie, d’être indépendant dans cette production et il faut qu’ils comprennent. En France, a votre avis, où est le futur de ces productions d’énergie entre les éoliennes, la production atomique, les barrages d’EDF dans les Alpes ?

Henry Hude. Vous posez la question à un philosophe, donc ce ne sont pas des questions sur lesquelles je peu avoir un avis. Tout ce que je peux dire, d’un point de vue moral, c’est que l’exploitation du gaz de schiste semble avoir des conséquences sur l’environnement, potentiellement sur la santé publique, qui sont très importantes et qui n ont pas été explorées suffisamment. Aux Etats Unis, il est pratiquement impossible d’avoir des études objectives sur le sujet. Par contre, je pense qu’il est urgent d’attendre, et si d’autres pays veulent faire des expériences, tant mieux ou tant pis pour eux, nous verrons bien après. En tout cas c’est ma position. Par ailleurs il y a pour l’instant le nucléaire ou dans des pays comme la France, qui ne sont pas sismiques, parait être une solution dont de toute façon on ne peut pas se passer dans l’immédiat. Apres, on peut imaginer des révolutions énergétiques, mais je ne sais pas…

LVdlR. Je vous pose cette question, car justement ce qui m’intéresse, c’est le point de vue d’un philosophe. Dans les années 70, vous mentionnez une foule de ces romans fantastiques dans lesquels on disait qu’en l’an 2000 on vivrait un communisme ou une autre organisation planétaire qui serait toujours pour l’homme et qui le rendrait heureux, qu’on volerait sur d’autres planètes, etc. Au lieu de ça on se retrouve avec des petites guerres d’énergie entre les pays qui avaient des relations tout à fait fiables à l’époque.

  • Henry Hude. Oui. De toute façon, l’Europe a joui de paix pendant longtemps parce que l’Union Soviétique et les Etats-Unis étaient décidés à ce qu’il n’y ait pas de guerre en Europe et nous n’avions de toute façon pas la liberté de prendre des décisions de ce type la. C’est pour cela que la situation européenne (si on exclue la Russie de l’Europe) est extrêmement préoccupante car cette tension entre la Russie et le Etats-Unis est très contrariante pour nous et très dangereuse à terme.

LVdlR
. Espérons que la raison triomphe.

Henry Hude. Elle peut en effet triompher.
 http://french.ruvr.ru

26/7/14
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Τετάρτη, Ιουλίου 23, 2014

Russia’s Europe-bound energy supplies should stay outside sanctions (Günther Oettinger)

Russian oil and gas supplies to Europe should not be subject to sanctions over Russia’s stance on Ukraine, European Union Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said on Wednesday.

The EU energy envoy said he had always spoken against imposing any sanctions on Russian gas and oil supplies. 

He said, however, that Russia depended on Western technologies for offshore hydrocarbon and shale gas extraction.


The EU Council could consider restricting the provision of these technologies to Russia, if Moscow does not contribute to peace in Ukraine, the energy commissioner said.
http://en.itar-tass.com/world/741996
23/7/14
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Δευτέρα, Ιουλίου 14, 2014

Seven earthquakes in the US state of Oklahoma over the weekend

Seven earthquakes took place within the last weekend in the central part of the US state of Oklahoma, near Oklahoma City. As reported by the US Geological Survey, the magnitude aftershocks ranged from 2.6 to 4.3.

There are no victims or destruction caused by earthquakes. The centers of earth shocks were at relatively shallow depths, reports ITAR-TASS.

According to experts, the number of earthquakes has increased several times in the last several years in Oklahoma and other oil and gas producing states in the US - Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. So, in Oklahoma from 1978 to 2008 was recorded approximately two earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or more per year, and from January 1 to June 19 of this year were registered 207 such tremors. Thus, Oklahoma has already left behind the most earthquake-prone state - California, where 140 earthquakes have taken place from January 1 to June 16.

Scientists believe that the increase in the number of tremors may be connected with shale gas production by means of fracking. Gas is extracted using injection of water with chemicals at high pressure into shale formations. Fracturing technology allowed the US to dramatically increase natural gas production and reduce oil imports.

[voiceofrussia.com]
14/7/14
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Σάββατο, Ιουλίου 12, 2014

Europe Considers Fracking to Cut Russian Gas Imports (That would be beneficial for both Europe and Russia)

—The political crisis in Ukraine, including its dispute with Moscow over the flow of Russian natural gas, has forced many European nations to reconsider their reliance on Russia for energy. Some nations are looking at new options for extracting natural gas at home, including the controversial process of hydraulic fracking. Although much of Europe is dependent on Russian energy imports, the continent is believed to be sitting on 13 trillion cubic meters of shale gas, a significant reserve.
France, Poland and Ukraine share the largest amounts of shale gas, but reserves have been found in Romania, Bulgaria and the United Kingdom.

The presence of large shale gas reserves and the current crisis in Ukraine have sharpened the focus on Europe’s shale gas potential, according to Lucia Seybert, at the Wilson Center in Washington.

“With energy security it’s not just a matter of supply, it’s also a question of reliability. And one thing this thing may do, what might happen is, it may expedite some of these explorations of shale gas within the European Union,” Seybert said.
Still, Europe is believed to be years away from commercially exploiting shale gas. Poland, the United Kingdom and Romania are the farthest along - and expect to start exploration by 2020.

But extracting shale gas - using a technique called hydraulic fracking, is controversial. Most drilling sites in Europe are near populated areas and environmental groups have raised concerns about water and air pollution.

There also are political issues. European taxes on the industry and strict regulations create a challenge for extraction companies.
“It is much more complex extracting the gas in places like Poland and Central Europe than it is in the U.S. So we really need to better understand how much is there and how easily we can actually get it out of the ground,” said Eric Stewart, president of the Romanian-American and Polish-American Business Councils.

Energy companies also must battle a strong environmental movement and public opposition.
The process can help meet Europe’s energy needs if it complements conventional and renewable sources of energy like solar and wind, said
Keith Smith, a former U.S. ambassador to Lithuania, now a fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis and an expert on fracking technology.

“I think hydraulic fracturing is one element that can help bring energy security to Europe, but it will take a long time. I think it can happen but it’s only one factor. There are a lot of other things that need to be done," he said.

Much of Europe’s gas flows through a pipeline that runs from Russia across Ukraine. But Ukraine has had trouble paying its gas bill to Russia’s Gazprom energy company. And earlier this year, Ukrainian protesters ousted the country’s pro-Russia president. The new government has signed economic agreements with the European Union, over Moscow’s objections. Moscow has signaled it may cut off gas to Kyiv, and thus to much of Europe.
With winter approaching, the current dispute looks similar to the crisis in 2009, when Russia stopped the natural gas flow to Europe in January, leaving millions of homes and businesses in the cold.
"The European Union has got burned - or, frozen, I should say - with the 2009 crisis so they really worked hard to prevent something like that from reccurring, and there has been much talk about the interconnection of pipelines, alternative sources and reverse flow mechanism, so we will see,” Seybert said.

Shale gas exploration will not achieve complete energy independence from Russian imports, but will lessen that dependence long-term.

  • That would be beneficial for both Europe and Russia, a country that needs a more diversified economy and less dependence on energy exports, she said.
Ana Hontz-Ward
[voanews.com] 
12/7/14
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Δευτέρα, Ιουνίου 30, 2014

Jordan oks mega oil shale project

Jordan's cabinet on Sunday approved an agreement to build a mega oil shale power plant in the Kingdom, Jordan's energy minister Mohammad Hamed said.

"The agreement will be signed between the Jordanian government and an international Estonian-Malaysian consortium within two weeks, and it's the first of its kind in the region," the minister said.

Jordan has over 40 billion tons of oil shale in reserves and the 2.4-billion-US dollar power plant will produce electricity through direct oil shale burning, the minister said.


The 470-megawatts power plant, which is expected to be operational in early 2018, will be built by Estonia's Eesti Energia, Malaysia's YTL Power International and Near East Investments of Jordan.

The Kingdom now imports about 96 percent of its energy at a cost of 2.8 billion dollars annually, or 21 percent of its gross domestic product. It plans to increase self-produced energy to 60 percent of its consumption by 2020.

Sources: Xinhua -  globaltimes.cn
30/6/14

Παρασκευή, Απριλίου 04, 2014

Ukraine eyes coal after Russian gas price hike.

Ukraine's Western-backed leaders scrambled on Friday to find new sources of energy after Russia hiked its gas price by 80 percent in response to the overthrow of Kiev's pro-Kremlin regime.
      
The crisis-hit nation saw the amount it must pay for 1,000 cubic metres of blue fuel soar to $485.50 from $268.50 after Russia imposed two price increases in three days that reflected its deep displeasure with the ex-Soviet nation's new westward course.
      
Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan called Russia's new price "political" and vowed to explore solutions that included a heavier reliance on coal -- a polluting source of energy whose consumption has imperilled the air quality of nations such as China.

      
"We are now reviewing our electricity and fuel balance for 2014 with a view of using as much domestic coal as possible at the expense of natural gas," Prodan told a cabinet meeting in comments posted on the government website.
      
Ukraine has relied on coal throughout much of the past century despite efforts by global institutions such as the World Bank to help Kiev phase out its use following independence from Moscow.
      
The International Energy Agency estimates that coal accounts for about 30 percent of Ukraine's total energy supply compared to the 40 percent of the balance assumed by natural gas.
      

The nation of 46 million on the EU's eastern frontier is rich in resources but still imports about 30 percent of its needs due to inefficiencies and heavy state subsidies to both households and industries...........[hurriyetdailynews.com]
4/4/14
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Δευτέρα, Μαρτίου 24, 2014

EU unable to quit Russian gas import in near term. - CEO of Italian oil and gas company

The European Union is too dependent on natural gas imports from Russia to abandon them over the near term, chief executive of the Italian Eni energy group Paolo Scaroni said in an interview released in Financial Times on Monday.

Europe now depends on Russian gas, but if the EU and Russia achieve no compromise over Ukraine and Crimea, the EU will make giant efforts to diversify its energy sources, including shale gas production in the EU territory, more extensive liquefied gas imports and increased imports from Algeria, Libya and Norway, Scaroni believes.


Meanwhile, the prospects for the South Stream pipeline on the bed of the Black Sea where Eni holds 20% were dismal, he added.(en.itar-tass.com)

24/3/14
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Παρασκευή, Μαρτίου 21, 2014

Europe focuses on shale gas amid Ukraine crisis. -Exploration of S.G. in the EU as a tool to further diversify its energy supply

England, Poland, Romania and Ukraine were the first countries to start distributing licenses for the exploration and exploitation of shale gas.
 
By E. Gurkan Abay 
ANKARA 
EU countries have started distributing shale gas licenses to private companies, aiming to reduce the dependence on Russian natural gas, amid the crisis in Ukraine that sparked EU’s efforts to increase its energy security.
Europe will try to formulate ways to reduce its "concerning" level of dependency on Russian natural gas, at the EU March 20-21 summit in Brussels, according to draft summit documents. Local energy sources such as shale gas should be further exploited, the papers also state. England, Poland, Romania and Ukraine were the first countries to start distributing licenses for the exploration and exploitation of shale gas.

  • European Commission spokeswoman Sabine Berger told Anadolu Agency that the Commission acknowledges the potential importance of the exploration of shale gas in the EU as a tool to further diversify its energy supply.
  • “But it’s a purely national decision by the EU member state to opt for shale gas or not,” she said, adding that the commission does not have any plans to assist the private sector financially for shale gas exploration and exploitation.
The Commission will continue facilitating the exchange of environmental information of shale gas projects, Berger explained, and from December 2014 onwards, member states will also inform the Commission each year about measures that they have put in place.
Recently, the European Commission has loosened regulations on shale gas and left the decision on environmental issues to member countries.
- Poland’s shale gas reserves are the largest in Europe
According to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Poland’s shale gas reserves are the largest in Europe, with a potential 4.1 trillion cubic meters. Keen to make use of this potential, Poland enacted a law in March 11, which exempts taxes on shale gas exploitation until 2020.
France, second only to Poland, has technically recoverable reserves of 3.8 trillion cubic meters. However, the hydraulic fracturing technique which is used in shale gas exploitation, is currently banned in France.
In 2012, France’s President Francois Hollande promised to reduce the share of nuclear power in electricity generation from 75 to 50 percent. Shale gas is seen as a potential candidate to fill the energy supply gap.
- Hydraulic fracturing to extract shale gas  
Hydraulic fracturing, or commonly known as “fracking,” rocks under 2 to 5 kilometers under the soil are fractured by using high pressured chemical waters sprayed out of horizontally installed pipes. After the fracturing ends, the fractured rocks release gas that migrates to wells.
The fracking method is the main reason behind Europe’s hesitation on the extraction of shale gas. Experts fear that the fracking technique under the soil could pollute the underground water systems and the soil. Additionally, it is also feared that the fracturing process might trigger earthquakes.
Since EU environmental legislation developed at a time when high volume hydraulic fracturing was not used in Europe, certain environmental aspects associated with the exploration and production of fossil fuels involving this practice are not comprehensively addressed in current EU legislation.
englishnews@aa.com.tr
 aa.com.tr
21/3/14
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Τετάρτη, Μαρτίου 12, 2014

Using sand for fracking: pros and cons

Disputes about pros and cons of fracking are still going on in the US, especially in Midwestern states. Although there are no fracking facilities in some Midwestern states, these states are now experiencing a big increase of the sand mining industry. The reason is that the process of fracking needs large amounts of sand.
The Christian Science Monitor describes the process as follows: “To extract the sand, mining companies scrape away the soil, break up the sandstone with explosives, and then crush it. The raw sand is washed, sorted by size, and shipped by truck, rail, and barge to fracking operations in the US and Canada. There the sand is mixed with water and chemicals and pumped underground, where the particles lodge in cracks and prop them open while gas or oil flows out.”


Oil and gas companies need the sand used in fracking operations to hold open cracks in shale rock. In Ohio, that rock is usually the Utica formation. In West Virginia and Pennsylvania, it’s the Marcellus shale.

Much of that sand is ripe for mining in upper Midwestern states such as Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and especially Wisconsin.

Sand has long been used in various branches of industry in these states, but it has never been taken in such large amounts until the fracking method started to be used for extracting oil in gas in this area four years ago.

Local residents have various opinions about that. Some are claiming that the industry is ruining the once-idyllic land.

“Since 2012, Wisconsin has found nearly two dozen sand-mining operations in violation of air and water pollution rules,” an article in the Christian Science Monitor says.

Voice of Russia, bizjournals.com

 http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_03_12/Using-sand-for-fracking-pros-and-cons-3382/
12/3/14
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Δευτέρα, Νοεμβρίου 11, 2013

Günther Oettinger: Wir brauchen in Europa die Option des Fracking“.

EU-Energiekommissar Günther Oettinger empfiehlt Europa die Gewinnung von Schiefergas nach US-Vorbild. Nur so könne sich der Kontinent aus der Abhängigkeit von Russland befreien. 

WienUm die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit Europas zu sichern, befürwortet der EU-Energiekommissar Günther Oettinger die Gewinnung von Schiefer-Gas nach amerikanischem Vorbild, in der Branche Fracking genannt. "Wir brauchen in Europa die Option des Fracking, zumindest als Drohung gegen Putin", sagte Oettinger auf der Handelsblatt-Tagung Energiewirtschaft am Montag in Wien. Russland ist bislang wichtigster Gaslieferant in der Europäischen Union. Noch liefert das von Wladimir Putin regierte Land vier Fünftel des Gases.


Der Energie-Kommissar drängt auf niedrigere Strompreise, damit es zu keiner Abwanderung der Industrie in Europa kommt. "Unsere Industrie hält keinen dreifachen Gas-Preis aus", sagte der frühere baden-württembergische Ministerpräsident in Anspielung auf die niedrigen Preise in den USA. "Die Strompreise sind in Europa zu hoch und in meinem Heimatland viel zu hoch", kritisierte der CDU-Politiker. Beispielsweise beim österreichischen Stahlkonzern Voestalpine seien die Energiepreise sehr viel wichtiger als die Arbeitskosten.
Noch könne sich Europa Gelassenheit leisten. Doch die Uhr tickt für eine energiepolitische Umkehr zu Gunsten auch umstrittener Energiegewinnungsmethoden wie dem Fracking. "Uns geht es noch gut. Doch ein Weckruf muss jetzt her", appellierte Oettinger vor Energiemanagern.
http://www.handelsblatt.com/politik/international/oettinger-auf-handelsblatt-tagung-wir-brauchen-in-europa-die-option-des-fracking/9058578.html
11/11/13
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