Shale gas in brazil and the world environmental crime heinous


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Shale gas in brazil and the world environmental crime heinous

  1. 1. SHALE GAS IN BRAZIL AND THE WORLD: ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME HEINOUS Fernando Alcoforado * Despite all warnings, recommendations and evidence of environmental impacts of shale gas exploration, ANP (National Petroleum Agency of Brazil) conducted irresponsibly, on 11/28/2013, the 12th Bidding Round. The Public Prosecutor's Federal from State of Piauí (MPF/PI) filed a civil action to try to prevent, by injunction, the exploitation of shale gas. The MPF requests the annulment of the exploitation of shale gas using the hydraulic fracturing technique, which can irreversibly affect the environment. Originally scheduled for two days, the auction lasted less than six hours, with the participation of 12 companies, including four foreigners. Of the 240 blocks offered, 72 were sold, of which 75% are potentially productive areas of shale gas. Most exploration blocks was acquired by Petrobras, which will operate alone 27 areas and 22 in consortium with other national and foreign private companies. Even with all the risks surrounding the exploitation of shale gas, the Paraná Basin was the one that sparked the most interest during the 12th round and had 16 blocks offered by the ANP that were sold by 19 companies. This means that the Guarani Aquifer, the largest freshwater reserve in the world, situated in the areas to be explored in the Paraná Basin, may be committed to the exploration of shale gas. Despite the recommendations of professional and technical areas related to the environment and water and sanitation, inspection agencies and prosecutors who recommended the suspension of the auction services organizations, ANP irresponsibly chose to auction off first and then discuss the rules for the operation with winning companies. It should be noted that the shale has attributes of coal and oil. By fractional distillation , dry, produces petrol, fuel gas, sulfur, etc.. With the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), U.S. companies recently sparked an energy revolution in the segment of shale gas in the United States. The U.S. production of that gas went from virtually zero in 2000 to a level that contributes ¼ of natural gas in the United States and expected to reach half of the total natural gas in the country by 2030 , according to data from the Institute of Public Policy James A. Baker of Rice University in Houston, Texas [See Xisto betuminoso (Shale) on the website <>]. The exploitation of shale gas, treated by ANP as "unconventional gas", uses the aforementioned technique of hydraulic fracturing by injecting water and chemicals under high pressure proven product that will contaminates the groundwater. In the United States, this uses this technology more than 20 years, several environmental accidents that were caused by the exploitation of shale gas. The groundwater contamination has prevented the consumption of drinking water in at least 30 US cities. The ANP disrespected manifestation of the Interministerial Working Group Activities of Exploration and Production of Oil and Gas (GTPEG), who claimed to have been surprised by the release of the bidding for areas that are still being analyzed environmentally (See the website <<>. Among other questions issued by the Interministerial Working Group Activities of Exploration and Production of Oil and Gas (GTPEG) in your opinion is the absence of 1
  2. 2. preliminary environmental studies and even knowledge of important geological features of sedimentary basins for areas offered by the ANP. The process of fractional distillation to obtain shale gas is highly polluting. The hydraulic fracturing (fracking) itself raises environmental concerns such as, for example, contamination of aquifers sheets, if the tunnels are not aligned properly and the chemicals used to keep open the pores of the rock leak. The use of natural gas from shale has faced opponents in various parts of the world claiming that fracking method can poison underground water supplies and even cause earthquakes. So far, fracking has been banned in France and Bulgaria, suspended or voluntarily paralyzed in the UK, South Africa, Quebec, parts of Germany and Australia, and convicted of northern Spain to New York. From the energy revolution in the United States based on shale gas is going to attempt to promote their exploitation in various parts of the world as efforts by several countries to free themselves from dependence on imported oil, especially the countries of the Middle East region critique of the geopolitical point of view on the possibility of the outbreak of regional conflicts that can trigger even a new world conflict threatening the supply of this important energy source. The International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its latest report, published November 12, which the development of shale gas will continue to give the United States an important competitive advantage at least until 2035. A study by the International Energy Agency, published in April 2011 found practically the volume (6,620 trillion cubic feet or 187.4 trillion cubic meters) of shale (shale gas) recoverable gas in just 32 countries, and the giants are: China (1,275 trillion cubic feet), United States (862 trillion cubic feet), Argentina (774 trillion cubic feet), Mexico (681 trillion cubic feet), South Africa (485 trillion cubic feet) and Australia (396 trillion cubic feet). Brazil and Chile, which currently import about half the gas they consume, have deposits of 226 trillion cubic feet and 64 trillion cubic feet of shale gas, respectively. As more and more countries allow exploration and exploitation of shale gas thousands of people protesting in various parts of the world such as France (Paris, Toulouse, Lille and Nice), United States, Canada, England, Germany or Romania, on the occasion of the World Day against shale gas. In Ukraine there is a nascent mobilization, in Canada there is a powerful opposition, the UK is a huge public discontent and in France it was forbidden the use of hydraulic fractionation, and has been address by Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, Philippe Martinem, on November 28, 2013, in an interview in Le Parisien - Aujourd'hui, with its refusal to accept a transfer request seven licenses for shale gas exploration in the Paris basin made by Hess Oil Opponents of shale gas are deployed around the world (See the article Les opposants au gaz de schiste de plus en plus mobilisés dans le monde, published in Le Monde on 19/10/2013 and on the website <>). Given the environmental risks of shale gas exploration and the global trend of rejection of its production in several countries, is evident irresponsibility and lack of commitment of the Brazilian government with environmental issues. The lack of commitment from the Brazilian government to protect the environment on the issue of shale gas is added to other actions such as the decision to explore oil in pre -salt layer, the energy policy of the country which has an energy matrix with about 50 % of non-renewable sources of energy when it could reach around 90 % of renewable energy, his leniency in combating 2
  3. 3. deforestation and neglect of Brazil in search of solution to the problems of global warming. * Alcoforado, Fernando, engineer and doctor of Territorial Planning and Regional Development from the University of Barcelona, a university professor and consultant in strategic planning, business planning, regional planning and planning of energy systems, is the author of Globalização (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1997), De Collor a FHC- O Brasil e a Nova (Des)ordem Mundial (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1998), Um Projeto para o Brasil (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2000), Os condicionantes do desenvolvimento do Estado da Bahia (Tese de doutorado. Universidade de Barcelona,, 2003), Globalização e Desenvolvimento (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2006), Bahia- Desenvolvimento do Século XVI ao Século XX e Objetivos Estratégicos na Era Contemporânea (EGBA, Salvador, 2008), The Necessary Conditions of the Economic and Social Development-The Case of the State of Bahia (VDM Verlag Dr. Muller Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG, Saarbrücken, Germany, 2010), Aquecimento Global e Catástrofe Planetária (P&A Gráfica e Editora, Salvador, 2010), Amazônia Sustentável- Para o progresso do Brasil e combate ao aquecimento global (Viena- Editora e Gráfica, Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, São Paulo, 2011) and Os Fatores Condicionantes do Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (Editora CRV, Curitiba, 2012), among others. 3