Earthquakes and fracking

No to oil-covered Italy

The most popular term in Italy today is "fracking" and in recent days they has been a lot of speculation about fracking and the earthquake in Emilia Romagna. The physicist Maria Rita D'Orsogna has sent me a long detailed letter.

“I have tried in all sorts of ways to understand whether there is fracking in Italy. The search terms in English are "hydraulic fracturing", "stimulated fracture", and "shale gas". I’ve not found much from the oil companies, in English or in Italian, nor have I found much form the Italian government about the use of this technique in Italy. There’s nothing to rule out that fracking can be done in the future. I know that Stefano Saglia, the under-secretary for productive activity in the Berlusconi government was strongly in favour of the technique, and that there’s talk of possible reserves of shale gas in the Po Valley, but I don’t think that real fracking is being carried out in Italy. If there is, it’s certainly well hidden from all the Internet sites that I have been able to search through. This leads me to ask this question: “Does the Italian government want to tell us something about this issue?France has a total ban on fracking as has Bulgaria. Germany is discussing it. Even in England, where the technique was initially applauded as revolutionary, they are having another think about it. In the USA, the States of Vermont and of New York have imposed moratoria of various durations. And us?
How can Stefano Saglia be sure that this technique is good for Italy? Which expert is he talking to? This is what he said last year “Shale gas could open up new avenues for energy supplies at a time that is particularly delicate at a global level. Italy is giving a favourable welcome to the start of in depth consideration on this topic.” And what conclusion has he arrived at? What in depth consideration has he done? Now, even if fracking is not a technique used in Italy, given that people are talking about it all over the world and given that people want answers, do the people currently governing us, Clini, Passera, and Monti want to say something about how Italy is positioned in relation to the possibility of carrying out fracking in our land? Why is there no information on this topic? Why do we always have to be the last ones to arrive, in a disorganised way? Throughout the whole of the internet, people are talking about fracking in a way that is more or less incorrect. What is this fracking? In simple terms it’s a new technique in which a cocktail of chemicals at high pressure is emitted into the ground. This causes micro-earthquakes which cause the fracturing of porous rock (giving rise to the name “hydraulic fracturing”). The gas contained in the rock’s pores is released and then captured for commercial use. So here are the micro-earthquakes connected to fracking that is the cause of micro-tremors that in general are low intensity. At times, there are questions about whether the technique of fracking as such, can set off medium-intensity earthquakes - around 2 or 3 degrees on the Richter scale or exceptionally even 4 degrees.
On the other hand, what is more dangerous is the use of a multitude of so called reinjection wells, disused wells into which waste fluids are injected - the waste products of fracking. For every active well, enormous quantities of fluid waste are produced - waste that is toxic and radio active - and no one knows what to do with it. Sometimes the oil companies build open air basins to contain this waste, the so called "waste pits”, whereas at other times they make use of disused underground wells as containers.


And because of all this, even for those who don’t know, the laws of physics, the laws of probability and above all simple common sense tell us that for us citizens the game is really “not worth the candle” “ Maria Rita D’Orsogna

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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:53 PM in | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) Post a comment | Sign up | Send to a friend | | GrilloNews | listen_it_it.gifListen |
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thanks Beppe to let us know about this. This is a further example of how much Italy needs to implement long term plans for the use of renewable energy. I am from Emilia and wish one day that all Emilia-Romagna houses will have solar panels installed on each roof. No oil/gas drilling

Posted by: Chris Ekipaser | June 7, 2012 11:50 AM

Hello Beppe,

Greetings from Holland. Here more details on fracking:

Posted by: Ron Fonteine | June 6, 2012 12:09 AM

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