ARCHIVE EU (2011-2013)

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up hill battle

Up hill battle in Europe over fracking
Europe Lobbying bonanza

The two European countries at the forefront of shale gas development are strongly opposed to the idea of an EU fracking law.

Polish environment minister Marcin Korolec and UK
climate minister Greg Barker told ENDS they want to retain control over their shale gas rules.
On Monday, environment commissioner Janez Potočnik told a shale gas conference that the EU needs a “level playing field” because different approaches by public authorities “may give rise to recurrent concerns regarding the suitability of the environmental safeguard and precaution measures”.
The environment, climate and energy departments of the European Commission are drafting a legislative proposal that will be published later this year. It will cover water pollution, use of chemicals, emissions and the impacts of infrastructure development among other issues, an EU official confirmed.
But Mr Korolec said Europe already has “the most rigid environmental regulations in the world”, including on environmental impact assessments
“If some countries want to have a more rigid system it’s up to [them] but we do not need dedicated legislation for extraction and exploration of shale gas,” he said. Europe would be doing well if it could enjoy even a fraction of the benefits the US has won from the shale boom, the Polish minister added.
Mr Barker said the UK should continue to regulate its own industry because it has “a fantastic record for environmental protection for oil and gas extraction”.
“We must not allow the EU to do this in an ideological way or a knee-jerk way. It’s got to be driven by the realities of extraction and what is and isn’t possible,” he added.
In his speech, Mr Potočnik acknowledged that the UK and Poland are the frontrunners on shale gas, which could offer economic and employment benefits, as well as becoming part of the “energy transition agenda”.
But it must not be forgotten that “shale gas is a fossil fuel and that our ultimate goal is a carbon-free society” that will depend on renewable energy, he added.
The creation of an EU “level playing field” on shale would not affect national bans on fracking such as that in place in France,
the EU official said.

leaked memo

Leaked memo threatens ‘end of European conservation as we know it’

shale gas firms

Shale Gas firms to be brought under robust new EU law

where is the stink coming from

Presseurope: is a website (as far as I heard) funded by the European
Commission. It supposedly tailors news from different Eu newspapers.
With regards to fracking, it seems to select those pro-fracking news and those identifying opponents as not well informed people

Shale gas firms face EU methane emissions regulation-
7 Oct 2013



MEP Anderson disappointed at EU Fracking vote result

European Union votes for mandatory fracking impact studiesEuropean Union Votes – 10 Oct. 2013

Opposition to fracking has been growing across Europe. France and Bulgaria have banned fracking, according to Keep Tap Water Safe, and Romania and Ireland are considering moratoriums while research continues into the alleged safety of the process. Over the summer, multiple peaceful protests broke out at exploratory drill sites in Balcombe, Sussex, south of London. Anti-fracking activists and community members in the UK have continued courageous displays of direct action, strengthening a collective voice rejecting the process.

Euroep votes to tighten rules on Drilling method

Europe votes to tighten rules on drilling method (9 October 2013)

Frackinng under threat

Fracking under threat from EU red tape, warns MEP
The European Union has been accused of killing off the prospect of cheap energy from shale gas by trying to impose with expensive and “reckless” regulation of fracking.
Meps recognise dangers of fracking


MEPs recognise dangers of fracking

Meps puting the breaks - Geraldine


Article from a campaigner from Fracking Free Brussels –

EP environment committee vote on EIA Direcetive ‘ a breath of fresh air’

Anger at Brussels attacking fracking

MEP’s Deal a blow to crop based bio fuels

Eon chief warns US energy advantage makes Europe uncompetitive

By Joshua Chaffin in Brussels

The head of Germany’s largest utility has warned it will be years before Europe can hope to counter the US’s growing advantage in energy costs and predicts that the disparity will meanwhile lead heavy industry to abandon the continent.

Johannes Teyssen, chief executive of Eon, said there were no obvious options for Europe to narrow the US advantage – whether by drilling for shale gas, importing more liquefied natural gas or importing inexpensive US supplies.
“There is a competitive advantage for America that we cannot prevent, at least for some time,” Mr Teyssen told the Financial Times. He said it was “a dream” for politicians to suggest otherwise. “It will take years and long years of innovation before we can start to shrink it,” he added.

Mr Teyssen’s comments will add to growing concerns in Europe that high energy prices are encouraging manufacturers such as chemicals companies to shift investments across the Atlantic, where the shale bonanza has reduced natural gas costs to between a quarter and a third of those in the EU.

The issue was discussed at a summit of EU heads of government in Brussels in May and is expected to be a priority for a new German government.

“The price difference is unnerving some companies and deciding their investments,” Mr Teyssen said, adding that the US advantage was “getting so big we cannot allow it to continue”.

Even if Europe put aside its environmental concerns and decided to pursue natural gas fracking, it would take at least five years to develop such an industry, he predicted. Instead, he said, the continent was more likely to benefit if China and Australia pushed ahead with the technology because it would free up gas from Qatar and other world suppliers.
“The indirect fracking effect is probably the one that helps Europe the fastest – not direct fracking,” Mr Teyssen said.

With few other options at hand, Mr Teyssen argued that European politicians concerned about industrial competitiveness should focus on repairing an EU energy policy that was becoming increasingly dysfunctional. “There have been a lot of good intentions . . . but things are now just getting out of control,” he said. “European power is getting dirtier. The CO2 content is increasing in spite of the renewables. It is unaffordable, and it’s losing its security. So the alarm signs are tremendous.”

A priority for utilities is to rein in generous subsidies for renewable energy that have underwritten a boom in solar and wind power across the continent. Mr Teyssen blamed such support schemes – along with laws in Germany and other member states that prioritise renewables – for distorting the market. One consequence is that Eon has been forced to mothball gas-fired plants that are efficient but no longer profitable.

“We are feeding a giant with baby nutrition, missing the point that this giant can and needs to walk on its own feet now,” Mr Teyssen said of renewables.

Eon and other European utilities have been lobbying Brussels to ease state aid rules so that governments can shift subsidies to gas-fired plants that have been displaced by renewables but are still necessary to ensure supplies on days without sunshine or wind.

Günther Oettinger, the EU energy commissioner, is sympathetic to the industry’s complaint. Yet Mr Oettinger has generally argued that the best solution is to press ahead with a campaign to create a true, single EU market for gas and electricity. Such a market, long the centrepiece of Brussels’ energy policy, would lead to lower prices while also making supplies cleaner and more reliable, according to EU officials.

But Mr Teyssen argued that Europe’s energy market was, if anything, becoming more national – and even regional – and that claims to the contrary were the equivalent of “pigs in orbit”. He noted that in Germany, for example, the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein had drawn up plans to generate four times more wind power than it could use even as neighbouring states opposed any plans for transmission lines that might carry the electricity elsewhere.

“I hear so many European politicians talk about the finalisation of the internal market of energy while, in reality, today the train moves with high speed towards nationalisations and fragmentation,” Mr Teyssen said. “It is lacking credibility.”

Shale gas an energy opera  ( 2 April 2013)

Acceptance for shale development in Europe is growing –


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Statement on

<strong>Shale Gas Europe event “Public acceptance and the role of industry”</strong>

by Geert Decock, Policy officer Food &amp; Water Europe.

Brussels – The oil and gas industry is going in overdrive in 2013 to sell shale gas and fracking to Brussels-based policy-makers and the European public. Today, Shale Gas Europe – an initiative by Chevron, Cuadrilla, Halliburton and others – is hosting an event in Brussels, entitled “Public acceptance and the role of industry”, as part of its campaign to improve the image of unconventional extraction methods. Despite such campaigns, shale gas continues to face an uphill battle for public acceptability in the EU. Surveys show that Europeans remain wary about the prospect of a shale gas project in their area. And early exploration efforts for shale gas have met stiff resistance from residents. There is a groundswell of public distrust vis-à-vis the reassuring messages of the oil and gas industry.  Food &amp; Water Europe feels strengthened in its conviction that the EU can and must avoid the negative impacts associated with drilling thousands and thousands of shale gas wells across Europe. Europeans support an aggressive investment in renewables and energy efficiency, Brussels should listen.

Below is just a snapshot of the many voices, who reject shale gas as part of Europe’s energy mix. A Eurobarometer survey from January 2013 demonstrated that 74% of Europeans would be concerned, if a shale gas project came to their area. In a local referendum in November 2012 in Costinesti, Romania, where Chevron holds exploration licenses, 94,4% of the voters voted against hydraulic fracturing. In October 2012, thousands of Spaniards took to the streets in Santander and Vitoria to protest against exploration activities in Northern Spain.

“Shale gas is promoted as a potential game changer for Europe’s energy supply. Yet, many uncertainties remain”, said Food &amp; Water Europe policy officer Geert De Cock. “The EU still lacks an updated EU-wide regulation for unconventional fossil fuels. The carbon footprint of natural gas remains an open question due to our limited understanding of the fugitive methane emissions involved in unconventional gas extraction. Governments have not drawn up plans on how to treat large volumes of heavily contaminated flowback water. In this context, it should come as a surprise that European citizens remain wary about unconventional gas and fracking”.

Food &amp; Water Europe holds that European governments are putting the cart before the horse, by allowing exploration and extraction to go ahead without a detailed analysis of the risk and negative impacts of large-scale shale gas activities. Until all the climate, environmental and health impacts are adequately addressed, we believe that no further shale gas and other unconventional gas activities should proceed. We call on all Member States to suspend all ongoing activities, to abrogate permits, and to place a ban on any new projects, whether exploration or exploitation.

By Agnieszka Barteczko and Pawel Florkiewicz –

WARSAW, May 27 (Reuters) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) plans to shift its focus in Poland from the financial sector to the funding of energy projects to help the country to reduce its reliance on coal.

EU Leaders Back Shale Revolution, Roll Back Climate Policy

Europe’s heads of State and government want to promote shale gas and to reduce energy prices. They would rather promote competition than stop global warming.—Christopher Ziedler, Der Tagesspiegel, 22 May 2013

For the first time, rising energy costs and the declining competitiveness of the European economy will be rated higher than obviously unenforceable global climate change ambitions

Two-thirds of energy sector will have to be left undeveloped, Bonn conference told

About two-thirds of all proven reserves of oil, gas and coal will have to be left undeveloped if the world is to achieve the goal of limiting global warming at two degrees Celsius, according to the chief economist at the International Energy Agency.

Addressing participants in the latest round of UN climate talks in Bonn, Fatih Birol said this should be an “eye-opener” for pension funds with significant investments in the energy sector – particularly in coal – as well as for ratings agencies.He predicted coal would be hardest hit in the “unburnable carbon” scenario, followed by oil and gas. “We cannot afford to burn all the fossil fuels we have. If we did that, it [average global surface temperature] would go higher than four degrees.‘Devastating effect’
“Globally, the direction we are on is not the right one. If it continues, the increase would be as high as 5.3 degrees – and that would have devastating effects on all of us.”Instead of ignoring it, energy companies had a “crucial” role in confronting the challenge of climate change. “We think the energy sector cannot afford to be isolated – not just for moral reasons, but also for the business perspective.”Dr Birol delivered his address a day after the energy agency published its latest special report, Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map, which called on governments to take action between now and 2020 to ensure the two-degree target could be achieved.Looking at positive developments, he cited China’s closure of 70 of its worst-performing coal-fired power stations and said other countries should follow suit – an open invitation to the Government to switch Moneypoint in Co Clare to gas.Dr Birol said US greenhouse gas emissions had fallen back to the mid-1990s level, largely due to cheaper gas replacing coal for electricity generation.“This is huge . . . revolutionary,” he said, attributing the change to widespread fracking of shale gas.Dr Birol was speaking as one of the key strands of the UN talks fell apart due to Russian obstruction.


END of Europe

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Arizona solar farm ready to power 70,000 homes

Arizona solar farm ready to power 70,000 homes

Fracking banned in the Rioja area  of spain

Repsol Delays First Shale-Gas Project in Spain After Frack Ban
Repsol SA (REP), Spain’s largest oil producer, delayed starting to explore for shale gas in the north, where a local government has outlawed drilling projects that use water-intensive hydraulic fracturing.
The company had targeted July to begin seismic studies at its Luena project that extends over 290 square miles across the Cantabria region, where energy trade groups say Spain’s richest shale gas deposits lie. Repsol’s first domestic shale search can’t begin yet because several “requirements” haven’t been met, according to a company official who requested anonymity, as no announcement has been made. He declined to give specifics.
In April, the Cantabrian government enacted Spain’s first ban on the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, blaming risks of polluting drinking water. The rule blocks companies seeking to blast water into shale deposits within the region’s boundaries, though it’s less clear how projects extending to other regions are affected. Luena stretches from Cantabria to Castille & Leon, a situation that normally would be regulated by the nation’s Industry Ministry, exploration companies

END of Spain

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Gemeinden künftig früher an Erdgas-Suchverfahren beteiligt,11005786,24501872.html

An Genehmigungsverfahren zur Suche nach Erdgas und Erdöl werden in Schleswig-Holstein künftig die Gemeinden in einem früheren Stadium beteiligt. Dies teilte das Energieministerium am Dienstag mit. In bergrechtlichen Verfahren müssen zunächst Unternehmen, die Erdöl oder Erdgas suchen wollen, eine Erlaubnis oder Bewilligung beantragen. Copyright © 2013 Frankfurter RundschaU

Germany shelves fracking draft law

BNK Petroleum Deutschland has filed today a suit against the recent
decision of the Hessian Environment Department to deny the request for
an exploration license in North-Hessia. Not long ago, Mr. Klaus Angerer
(General Manager of BNK) has publicly announced that no project will be
realized against the will of the people.

Thus, our regional journey is far from being over. I am very curious if
democracy is able to defend itself in this courtcase.

Article in German:


Amerika das Neue Arabien? -

31.05.2013: Fracking: Not essential for the “Energiewende”

The energy transformation is already visible in many places in Germany – from the Alps to the North Sea.
Pace of the energy transition
Germany has ambitious goals for the expansion of renewable energies. report on its progress in our series “Energy Turnaround”: Part 6

Environmental policy pioneer
A modern climate and energy policy, renewable energies, green technologies and the phasing out of nuclear power

Renewable energies
Regenerative sources of energy provide us with a virtually inexhaustible supply. These portals explain how energy can be won from water, wind, the sun and other renewable sources.

In German:

Germany puts fracking on back burner

Council of Environmental Experts – Fracking of no avail for the Energiewende
the German Council of Environmental Experts says in a
short-study/statement that fracking is of no avail for the
“Energiewende”. This paper comes right on time. Unfortunately they do
propose further research (including drilling) concerning fracking.

END of Germany

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France ban


France upholds ban on HF  (11 October 2013)

France’s highest court on Friday upheld a government ban on a controversial drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, in a defeat for a method that has revolutionized the oil and natural gas industry in the United States.
The Constitutional Council ruled against a challenge by Schuepbach Energy, an American company, whose exploration permits were revoked after the French Parliament banned the practice.

france ban 2

Shale gas driller asks France for 1 billion euro compensation – 4 Oct 2013

french court

French court to decide



Will the French ban

Sept. 2013
prime minister rejects shale gas 1

Prime minister rejects shale gas

The French ban is in trouble!
From one of our campaigners.

This is interesting. The French Minister of the Environment, Delphine
Batho, was sacked a couple of days ago, ostensibly for having said
publicly that she wasn’t satisfied with the budget her department was
allocated for 2014.

48 hours after her removal from the government, she held a press
conference in which she said that various economic interests wanted her
out, due to her firm stance on maintaining the ban on fracking and on
reducing France’s dependence on nuclear power.

She is the second environment minister to be sacked under Francois
Hollande, apparently under pressure from the petroleum industry.

She mentioned in her press conference Philippe Crouzet, the director of
Vallourec, a manufacturer of steel pipes (who would obviously profit if
fracking were allowed to go ahead). Apparently he already a few weeks
ago mentioned that Batho was on the way out when addressing the
directors of his company’s branch in the USA. It also turns out that
this guy’s wife is the director of Francois Hollande’s office team…

Here’s the article I read:

I think the French ban is in trouble.

More bad news

Reporter: Fracking Free Ireland – Brussels

France’s Minister for Competitiveness Arnaud Montebourg has announced plans to set up a state company to exploit shale gas which would finance the energy transition. He believes that shale gas can be developed sustainably, and is confident of winning over reasonable French Greens, saying they are all reasonable. Considering none of the French Greens made too much of a fuss over Batho’s dismissal, I expect he’s right. If anyone is wondering why some Greens call for a moratorium, and not a ban, perhaps it is because they expect the technology to evolve. A couple of weeks ago German scientists came out with a statement saying they too are keen to investigate ‘green fracking’.
Fired French Minister Says Shale Backers Sought Her Scalp – “Former French Environment Minister Delphine Batho said she lost her job because of her support for a ban on shale drilling and lower dependence on nuclear power. “The battle crystallized notably on the question of shale gas and more discreetly on the reduction of nuclear in France,” Batho said at a press conference yesterday at the National Assembly in Paris. “These forces that I am talking about wanted my scalp.” The ex-minister continued her public criticism of the government today, saying in an interview on RMC radio that there is “enormous malaise” and “disappointment” with the administration. Batho, who held both the energy and environment portfolios, was fired by President Francois Hollande earlier this week after calling his 2014 spending plans “bad” because they cut her department’s funds by about 7 percent. She left at a critical time as the nation debates its future energy mix after Hollande pledged to lower the proportion of power France derives from nuclear energy, the highest in the world. An energy law was to be formulated in the coming months and sent to parliament at the start of 2014. The stakes are high for Electricite de France SA, operator of the country’s 58 nuclear reactors, because it wants to extend the lives of its generators rather than have any of them shut down. Socialist lawmaker Philippe Martin was appointed to replace Batho. He is a longtime critic of hydraulic fracturing for shale oil and gas, which is banned in France, and genetically modified organisms. Batho said she “never imagined for one minute” that her budget comments would lead to her being fired. “I won’t remain silent,” she said. Fifty-four percent of French people don’t approve of Hollande’s firing of Batho, according a to a poll published today by BVA for Le Parisien and i-Tele. The proportion is higher at 63 percent among respondents younger than 35. Batho said Philippe Crouzet, chairman of the supervisory board of France’s Vallourec SA (VK), had described her as a “disaster” and had commented on her likely departure before it was announced. In a statement late last night Crouzet denied he had ever “commented on the eventual departure of the minister.” Vallourec makes pipes for the oil and gas industry, including in the U.S., where it operates in the shale industry. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on July 3 told parliament Batho’s comments on the budget posed a “political problem” that showed a lack of loyalty to the government. Environmental issues remain “at the heart” of Hollande’s policies, he said. Batho’s departure is the second by a key cabinet member in Hollande’s government since Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac resigned in March after admitting to holding an undeclared Swiss bank account. By dismissing Batho, Hollande signaled his determination to shrink spending and keep discipline within government ranks. Hollande has pledged to lower the dependence on nuclear energy to 50 percent of total output by around 2025 from the current 75 percent. The test of whether Hollande will keep to his campaign promise will be whether EDF’s oldest reactor at Fessenheim is shut in spite of resistance from the utility, Batho said.”” (Bloomberg)

France to keep fracking ban to protect environment –

Frankreich: Regierung entzieht Genehmigungen fuer Schiefergasfoerderung.

3 October 2011 French Government withdraws approval for shale gas development translation German to English


Pour un moratoire euopeen sur les gaz de schiste –

END of France

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Norway overtakes Russia as EU biggest gas supplier

END of Norway

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polish minsiter

Polish minister denies shale gas exodus by US firms

Poland’s shale gas dreams fade as investors complain of red tape – “WARSAW, July 5 (Reuters) -Hopes that Poland could lead a U.S.-style shale gas boom in Europe are fading fast as energy companies say red tape is delaying commercial output and Warsaw’s draft proposals to cut bureaucracy do not go nearly far enough. The firms say there is plenty of gas but its exploitation is frustrated by difficult geology and onerous, unclear regulation.Prospects darkened this year after Marathon Oil and Talisman Energy followed Exxon Mobil in pulling out of Poland, which was once seen as Europe’s best shale prospect with substantial reserves and a friendly government. These companies may not be the last, unless one or more of the 46 exploration wells drilled so far starts producing commercial-scale quantities of gas.

FMN 115 and more articles

 Auschwitz to be drilled for gas

Exxon Shale failure –

Poland lobbies against EU shale gas regulation – (4 October 2011- Conference in Brussels)

Poland: possible EU regulation on the industry as “unfeasible”.
PISM Report_Shale Gas Under Political Scrutiny-1


Polish shale gas estimates likely to drop – (7 Dec 2011)

END of Poland

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 Turkey teams with Shell to exploit huge fracking potential-

END of Turkey

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RUSSIA Fracking Matters Newsletter 113
Spooked by shale

END of Russia

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END of Bulgaria

The Netherlands
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DUTCH DECISIONDutch decision

shale gas safe

Shale gas safe, says government report; cabinet to discuss Friday –

“The Groningen Ground Movement is currently considering taking its case to the European Court of Human Rights, on the grounds their basic right to live without fear is being violated.”

FRACKING AND BEER – ALL IN ONE, thanks to Jessica

(See also FMN 108 and 109)



ANP: Trouw: Brouwers en bottelaars sluiten zich aan bijschaliegas-verzet
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2013 09:04:51 +0200

In English by Google translate:

Article in German

END of the Netherlands

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us chevron

US Chevron pulls out of shale gas exploration tender



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Romania’s people show that it’s worth fighting against all odds:



European Union Votes for Mandatory Fracking Impact Studies

|October 10, 2013 2:44 pm | Comments1  28 3 0 0 47


By Laura Beans

beansbwWhile fracking has been touted as the answer to our energy and economic problems in the U.S., Europe has proven to be more cautious of these claims. Yesterday, members of the European Parliament endorsed proposals to impose mandatory, in-depth Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for all shale gas and other unconventional drilling activities in the European Union (EU), according to Food & Water Watch Europe.

The new rules would mean that large scale fracking projects require audits based on “the direct and indirect significant effects” on human health, animal species and habitats, land, water and climate.


Green MEPs protesting against shale gas, urging their fellow MEPs to exercise caution, outside the European Parliament, Nov. 2012. Photo credit: The Greens, European Free Alliance of the EP.

The decision demonstrates the EU’s resolve to avoid an out-of-control, unregulated shale gas drilling boom like that in the U.S. Mandatory EIAs would provide baseline data for proposed drilling sites, increase preparedness among environmental agencies and allow community residents to be included in consultation early on in the drilling process.

“This vote to impose a mandatory EIA for all shale gas drilling was a litmus test for the resolve among MEPs to demand an adequate risk-management framework for shale gas activities in Europe,” said Geert De Cock, a Food & Water Europe policy officer. “The majority in favor of this proposal should be a boost of confidence for Environment Commissioner Potocnick to bring forward stringent proposals for this risky industry.”

Opposition to fracking has been growing across Europe. France and Bulgaria have banned fracking, according to Keep Tap Water Safe, and Romania and Ireland are considering moratoriums while research continues into the alleged safety of the process. Over the summer, multiple peaceful protests broke out at exploratory drill sites in Balcombe, Sussex, south of London. Anti-fracking activists and community members in the UK have continued courageous displays of direct action, strengthening a collective voice rejecting the process.