CITY OF BELGOROD: SHALE GAS IS ROUND THE CORNER
On October 13 the City of Belgorod will host actions against ecologically hazardous drilling of shale gas in Ukraine close to Russian borders. For the first time in the history extensive and strongly representative discussions, as well as protest actions against this controversial energy project will take place.
The main event – open round table on ecological harm of shale gas drilling in Ukraine close to Russian borders - will be held in the conference hall at the Hotel ‘Belgorod’ (1, Sobornaya Ploshad) at 11 a.m. Ecologists, representatives of public authorities, social leaders, as well as media representatives from Belgorod Region, other regions of Russia and the Ukraine are going to participate in the event.
After the round table ecological activists from Belgorod, Voronezh, Kursk, Lipetsk, Kharkov etc. will organize a mass rally and show in protest against ecological unfriendly and hazardous shale gas drilling in the Ukraine: “No Shale Gas Threat!” Prominent ecologists and musicians will take to the stage, signatures will be collected, and flash mob “Let’s Deliver Gas to the Ukraine” will be organized.
The event begins at 3 p.m. in Park Pobedy.
Months ago the Ukraine reached an agreement with oil company RoyalDucthShell. The Company already commenced the upstream and drilling of shale gas very close to the Russian-Ukrainian borders. Right now RoyalDucthShell is operating at Yuzovka field in Kharkov Region. On a recent day an agreement with another multinational company Chevron was signed on exploration in Olesskaya field, Carpathian Mountains. Eco-activists witness that in some other regions not covered by the officially signed projects with the transnational companies local boring contractors are operating, allegedly exploring.
The Ukrainian Government considers shale gas production as a way to energy diversification. But the Ukrainian society is concerned that energy independence may be achieved by a very high price.
Gleb Fetisov, Chairman of the Council on the research of productive forces at the Russian Academy of Silences, Corresponding Member of the Academy, prominent businessman and investor, leader of the ecological party ‘Green Alliance’ asserts that shale gas drilling in the Ukraine is controversial from the economical efficiency point of view. In edition large-scale ecological problems may be made for local residents in the Ukraine, as well as for residents in cross-border regions of Russia and other countries.
Scientific studies in different countries demonstrate that extraction of shale gas may lead to environmental catastrophe because of highly toxic mixtures pumped underground by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and seismic hazard of this method.
The point is that shale gas unlike conventional fuels grades to hard-to-recover resources. This tight gas occurs in compact rock with fine pores. To extract it from this rock industry uses the method of hydraulic fracturing (fracking): millions liters of fluid consisting of water, sand and highly toxic chemicals are pumped into the well.
This fracking cocktail consists of highly concentrated acids, diethylformamide (highly toxic compound with strong irritant effect, causes nervous system and lever disturbance, by chronic intoxication causes toxic hepatitis), isopropanol (moderately hazardous substance, highly toxic, causes nervous system and lever disturbance), and other poisons.
In the USA which quite recently enjoyed shale gas drilling boom the extraction is allowed solely in desert fields. Drilling next to the densely populated areas or farming land has been folded. Thus, they stopped developing ‘rich’ reserves in Pennsylvania and near New York. Ban on shale gas drilling is imposed in the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Bulgaria, German federal states of Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia.
And France has imposed criminal sanctions for shale gas fracking. The United Kingdom and Germany are close to this due to earth quakes and other severe ecological problems caused by shale gas projects.
Nowadays the shale gas drilling projects are a real threat for people. Eco-activists are confident of preventing large-scale shale gas drilling close to Russian borders.
“A couple of developed nations are not extracting shale gas as far as they are looking after ecological safety and national health care. As leader of an ecological party I find it necessary to draw attention of the leadership of both Russia and the Ukraine to the fact that the disagreement between them which prompted Kiev to drill shale gas may result in ecological disaster in both nations at once.
The toxic waste of fracking and after accidents may end up in natural overland watercourses. How many rivers are passing from the Ukraine to Russia? Developing of shale gas drilling threatens to make them hazardous for the heath of residents of both the Ukraine and Russia. Pollution of underground water tables which are used for public water supply may have cross- border character as well. Before launching of Ukrainian shale gas projects it is necessary as a minimum to make an informed assessment of emergency isolation and response plans from cross-border impact point of view” – Gleb Fetisov appeals, who is chairman of ‘Green Alliance – People’s party’ and one of the organizers of ecological protest in Belgorod.
Principal Participant of the Belgorog Event:
• Gleb Fetisov, chairman of ‘Green Alliance – People’s party’, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences
• Alexei Knizhnikov, head of program on ecological policy of fuel-and-energy companies, WWF Russia
• Alexander Solovyanov, The Gubkin Oil and Gas University, Moscow
• Eco- activists from the City of Belgorod
• Prominent eco-activists from different regions of Russia and the Ukraine including Moscow, Voronezh, Kursk, Lipetsk, Kharkov, Lugansk
• Representatives of public authorities, including public authorities of the City of Belgorod and Belgorod Region, social leaders.
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Anastasia Mirsanova (events’ media coverage)
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