Bulgarian Environmentalists Suspect Second Shale Gas Well

Environment | November 23, 2011, Wednesday // 16:37|  views

Environmentalists claim that a second shale gas well is being prepared in Northwestern Bulgaria. Photo by BGNES

After visiting the villages of Golyamo Peshtene and Malo Peshtene in Northwestern Bulgaria, environmental activists have voiced fears that a natural gas drilling site is being prepared for a bigger well that may be used for shale gas exploration through hydraulic fracturing.

The warning was made by Angel Slavchev, a vocal shale gas opponent, who participated in Wednesday's protests against the activity.

Regarding the existence of a shale gas well in the northeastern Bulgarian village of Rogozina, Slavchev expressed serious doubts about the inspection conducted by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism on the matter.

Slavchev said that the representatives of the Economy Ministry and of the Regional Inspectorate for the Preservation and Control of Public Health (RIOKOZ) had done nothing further than measure radiation with a Geiger counter.

He also reminded of the claims of Environment Minister Nona Karadzhova that each well had to have a Natura 2000 impact assessment, which was not the case with the well in Rogozina.

"We conducted the impact assessment for the well in Rogozina and it turned out that a part of it was located on Natura 2000 territory and that no such procedure had been carried out on the site," Slavchev told journalists.

He insisted that Karadzhova be penalized for her failure to handle the matter.

On Saturday, Bulgaria's Greens party raised the alarm that shale gas exploration was already underway in the northeastern part of the country.

To prove their point, they said that a well had been built and the necessary equipment had been shipped, including a truck truck carrying radioactive

In a subsequent interview, Traicho Traikov, Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, refuted the claims, saying that the platform was used for conventional drilling.

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Tags: shale gas, Ministry of Economy and Energy, Traicho Traikov, Nona Karadzhova, NATURA 2000, drilling, environmental activists


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