Premium article: Chevron on the anti-shale gas protests: we do not drill in towns or residential areas. We respect individual liberties and the right to an opinion


Chevron representatives, the company has four shale gas exploration agreements in Romania, declared regarding last week’s protests in Barlad that they “respect the right to an opinion and individual liberties” and announced that they have no intention “to drill in cities or residential areas, near tourist or cultural attractions, areas protected by legislation. [cleeng_content id=”155025622″ description=”Buy this translation today. This article has 9272 characters with spaces. ” price=”11.99″ t=”article”]”Chevron says that in the current deposits exploration stage, “the maximum water volume used for the exploration will be less than the amount of water used for a swimming pool.” “Chevron’s activities are carried out in accordance with Romanian legislation and regulatory framework, with that of the European Union, and with the highest standards applied in the oil industry. We cooperate with the Romanian authorities to obtain necessary licenses to carry out operations in leased perimeters,” stated Chevron’s response after a request by to state its position regarding the protests in Barlad. We remind the readers that over 7,000 citizens protested in Barlad on March 27 against shale gas exploitation. The march, organized by the Civil Society Initiative Group (IRSG) Barlad, gathered representatives of Barlad and surrounding parishes, environmental activists, representatives of the FC Vaslui gallery, but also citizens who are against shale gas exploitation through the hydraulic fracturing method by U.S. company Chevron.

Chevron’s press release:

“Chevron’s activities are carried out in accordance with the Romanian and EU legislation and regulatory framework, and with the highest standards applied in the oil industry. We are working with the Romanian authorities in order to obtain the necessary approvals for running operations in the leased perimeters. Chevron has no intention of drilling in cities or residential areas, near tourist or cultural attractions, areas protected by legislation. Chevron respect individual liberties and the right to an opinion . We are committed to cooperate closely with communities and local authorities, in order to address the concerns on developing gas production in Romania. Chevron fully understands that some communities express concerns about natural gas development in clays, and the company will continue to answer these questions through frequent consultations with all stakeholders and by providing a framework for a constructive and honest dialogue. We recognize the importance of informing the public on the technology used in the exploration phase, technologies that are widely used in the oil and gas industry. The general public will benefit from a correct information on the technologies and scientific data that could be used, if at the end of the exploration process in Romania, gas would be extracted from clay. Technologies used for gas exploration and production in clays have been widely used around the world, including Romania. Gas development and production from clay formations has a history which proved that these operations can be developed in a safe and responsible manner for the environment. Chevron is committed to creating jobs for Romanians, to generate revenues for the national budget, to protect the environment and to actively contribute to the lives of the communities in which it operates. “

Data on gas exploration and development from gas-bearing clays

Protecting groundwater

Generally, wells are composed of a minimum of four steel layers (columns), 10 to 14 mm thick, and also of three cement layers, each 35 to 76 mm thick. These multiple layers of steel and cement are designed to:

· Protect, enhance and isolate traversed formations, thus preventing pollution of surface and groundwater, as well as communication between the penetrated layers;

· Prevents any gas or other fluids from reaching the surface;

· Protects the wellhead and the surface facility site;

· Conducts the well’s technological drilling fluid to the surface system;

· Isolates the technological drilling fluid’s circuit from surface and ground waters and vice versa;

Thus, the risk of the drilling-fluid’s penetrating and contaminating underground water is reduced, as natural gas clay deposits are several thousand meters deep under layers of impermeable rock. Apart from the well’s cementing with multiple layers of steel and cement and the in-depth natural insulation, best practices in the oil industry require rigorous testing and monitoring in order to ensure the integrity of the well along the entire lifecycle.

Water quality monitoring

Chevron will test underground water near the site where operations will be carried out, before and after. Results will be shared with landowners, but also with environmental and water agencies. Our wells are designed to ensure groundwater protection along the entire life cycle of a well.

Water sources

Chevron has a transparent policy in terms of water use. During the exploration phase, the amounts are not significant. In the current exploration stage, the maximum volume of water used for an exploration well will be lower than the amount of water used for a swimming pool. The water amount will be acquired from an authorized water distributor and in accordance with the permit from the Water Agency in the region.

Permits on water use

In the current stage of the project, Chevron plans to drill only prospecting wells. Permits on water use will be issued by the competent Romanian authorities based on regulations requiring that water use does not generate a significant impact on the water source.

Chemical additives of the fracturing liquid and impact on the groundwater

Hydraulic fracturing is a technological procedure used since the 40’s of the past century; from that time to date, no connection has been proved between this technology and water contamination. Hydraulic fracturing is a safe technology, which is subject to regulations in the field and is performed in accordance with the environmental protection standards. The composition of the fracturing liquid is: 99.5% water and sand. The remaining 0.5% of the fluid represents additives with the role of reducing friction, maintaining water viscosity to transport the sand, preventing the development of bacteria and preventing corrosion of the pipeline that the liquid goes through. Numerous substances represent the same type of ingredients as those found in the household products used in bathroom (soap, cleaning chemicals, disinfectants), in kitchens (in the composition of plastics) or even in cosmetic products (lipstick, makeup remover).

Publication of additives

Chevron supports the publication of additives used in the hydraulic fracturing process and will make this information public when it completes the planning process of the well construction. That composition will depend on a number of factors such as the chemical features of the water used, the properties of the geological layers drilled, depth and pressure. In the U.S., oil and gas companies have voluntarily decided to make public the additives used in these technological processes, in order to dissipate concerns on using chemical substances. Chevron will ensure the same transparency in Romania.

Drilling depth

Hydraulic fracturing is a process that takes place at a depth varying between 3000 and 4000 meters below the groundwater. This depth is the equivalent of a distance by twenty-eight time bigger than the height of the Free Press House (Romanian: Casa Presei Libere) or by a hundred times bigger than the Triumphal Arch in Bucharest. In Romania, numerous drillings have been performed at a depth of 3000-4000 meters. In this stage however, Chevron will drill only prospecting wells and not wells that use hydraulic fracturing.

Seismic risks

The oil and gas industry has an extensive experience of operation in areas seismically active. The steel well casing is built in such a manner to resist higher pressures than those exerted by the layers of rocks surrounding it. At the surface, the equipment is designed in accordance with the construction standards on seismic risks.

Road arteries congestion

To minimize the road traffic congestion, the national regulatory agencies and Chevron will make a careful assessment of the locations where the well will be placed and of the access to roads. Also, it must be specified that the noise measured in the vicinity of a well is not higher than in the proximity of heavily trafficked roads. Chevron will keep a permanent connection with the citizens from the communities where it will carry out its activity. If the noise level is considered too high, there is an option to install phonic barriers around the drilling platform, to buffer the noise emitted.

Population density in the operating areas

In the state of Pennsylvania (U.S.), where extensive shale gas exploration and exploitation operations have been developed, the population has a density of 107 inhabitants per square kilometer, a figure close to that of Vaslui County (90 inhabitants per square kilometer). The determinant criterion for selecting this state was a large geological formation favorable for the development of this new resource. None of the areas crossed by Marcellus geological formation – which, besides Pennsylvania, is extended in geographical sections of other states, such as New York, Virginia and Ohio – is located in a desert area. Moreover, Pennsylvania was the historical location of the first oil well drilled in the U.S., in 1869. Chevron and other local and international companies operate at the highest standards imposed by the oil industry and implement very strict procedures, to ensure that operations are carried out in a safe and responsible manner towards the environment.”[/cleeng_content]

Original Source in Romanian:

Premium article: Chevron on the anti-shale gas protests: we do not drill in towns or residential areas. We respect individual liberties and the right to an opinion

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