Selected international news from shale gas exploration and production industry
Spain lifted the ban on hydraulic fracturing in the Spanish Province of Calabria. Province authorities introduced a shale gas exploration moratorium in April 2013, but Spanish Constitutional Court declared the ban invalid, supporting the stance of Spanish Government which concluded that local authorities are not authorized to make such decisions.
Japan plans to explore for shale gas and import LNG from Mexico.
Federal Environmental Protection Agency (UBA) is to beef up regulations on shale gas exploration. This will practically make impossible to deliver any hydraulic fracturing-based shale gas exploration and production operations. To support her decisions, UBA Director Maria Krautzberger produced an expert opinion of almost 600 pages stating that this technology poses serious environmental risks.
The opposition against shale gas exploration is getting stronger. Last week, Treasure the Karoo Action Group, an umbrella organisation of shal gas production opponents, requested RSA Government to introduce a moratorium on shale gas exploration in the region of Karoo, the most prospective in terms of shale gas resources.
Shale gas exploration has been suspended in June 2014 in east Ukraine as a result of hostilities. Shell Company is still unable to continue exploration of the Yuzivska Shale Formation near Slavyansk due to the armed conflict. Malaysian flight was downed in the planned exploration area in July 2014.
28 July 2014 was the deadline for the introduction of the EU recommendations on shale gas exploration using hydraulic fracturing technique. According to unofficial information, Poland is the only country to submit a report on the status of activities that are intended to ensure compliance with EC recommendation.
European Commission has instituted proceedings against Poland where regulations on environmental impact assessments have been amended to streamline investor's operations. Should Brussels find unsatisfactory Poland's response to the allegations, European Commission may refer the case to European Court of Justice, which is in position to impose high fines.
The UK Government launched the 14th onshore licensing round. It is primarily intended to find investors who express an interest in shale gas exploration and production. The UK Government prepared a map of areas where shale gas exploration drilling is now permitted. These areas cover in excess of 95,000 km2, or almost 40% of the country. It will be permitted to produce shale gas even in nature reserves and national parks, provided that special conditions are satisfied. Shale gas opponents have announced strong protests on that matter.
Northern Ireland's Minister for Environment does not share shale gas exploration enthusiasm of David Cameron's cabinet. According to his announcement, exploration permits will be granted only if exploration impact on the environment and human health is excluded. Exploration is to be launched in Belcoo (Fermanagh county) by Tamboran Resources in August 2014. Exploration opponents have already started protests in the planned drilling locations.
sources: gazlupkowy.pl, polskieradio.pl, bankier.pl, energia-pl.pl, cire.pl, dw.de