I’ll try to gather together my questions here, and hopefully the answers too.
- The CEO of GDF Suez says that exploration should be allowed in France, on the grounds that we don’t yet know whether there are in fact any reserves of shale gas to be exploited, and that it is in our interest to know one way or the other. Are the permits freely given so that such exploration can be made on our behalf, or is this a commercial transaction?
See my article referring to the Quebec situation – leaks can happen during the exploration phase, so finding can be a dangerous prospect which is NOT in our interest.
- Will the results of the review of the environmental impacts be made public?
- The government owns the rights to the sous-sol, but does the land actually used on the surface have to belong to the government, or does the mining company have to make arrangements with the land owner/s for rights?
- Is there some kind of permis that must be approved before exploration can begin?
- If so, at what level of government is this approval given and what control or veto, if any, does local government have?
- What happens if gas of sufficient volume is found to make it seem like a viable proposition to extract it – is further permission required to start the extraction?
- Is there public information and consultation before approval for exploitation is given?
- I understand that the actual drilling phase is likely to be just a matter of weeks. Is there an understanding of the likely lifetime of a well or closely positioned group of wells?
- What commitments are imposed on the extraction company for the restoration of the sites and in what timescale, related to the drilling and extraction phases?
- We have so far talked only of gas. Is it possible that the same sites may also produce oil?
- If so, is the extraction of the oil also covered by the same regulations and commitments?
- What factors are included in the economic case to account for the fact that this is a finite resource, that the gas contributes to carbon emissions, to offset the impact on tourism, house prices etc?
- Assuming that best industry practice will be required as standard, what penalties will be levied, or what insurance is available if there is an unforeseen or unexpected problem, such as contamination of ground water by run off from sediment, contamination of aquifers from dispersion within the underground rock layers, earthquakes, air pollution or other environmental catastrophes?
- Will the projects be monitored by an independant organisation?
- Where will the water come from and be returned to?
- Where does the sand come from? Is this the solution for the Dune du Pyla? 🙂
- What is the content of the ‘frac’ fluid?
Here is a table of possible contents. Note that while these may indeed be considered as ‘everyday household products’ they are NOT things that you would want to find in your drinking water…..