Germany

Political situation

  • In September 2012, two official reports have been published:
    • http://www.bmu.de/files/pdfs/allgemein/application/pdf/gutachten_fracking_2012.pdf
    • http://www.umwelt.nrw.de/ministerium/presse/presse_aktuell/presse120907_a.php
      The first one was published by the federal Environment, the second one – and much more detailed – by the Environment Ministry of Northrhine-Westfalia (around 900 pages). Both examine the water-related and other environmental impacts and the risks for human health and the environment that could be caused by hydraulic fracturing during exploration and exploitation of unconventional natural gas reservoirs. Both studies conclude that basic knowledge and data are currently missing, preventing a profound assessment of the risks and their technical controllability. The studies confirm that there is a large potential risk caused by Fracking.
  • With respect to the protection of the environment, there are a lot of regulatory deficits. Especially, there is no mandatory environmental impact assessment and no public participation for fracking projects in federal mining law. The water law requires the examination, whether concerns can be excluded that fracking and the disposal of flowback may cause adverse groundwater effects. This requires a separate authorization. But the federal states act differently.
  • As a result of the risk-study, the government of Northrhine-Westfalia will not issue permits for test drilling and extraction. There is also a federal initiative to amend the mining law. In Lower Saxony, however, up to now there have been around 300 fracks. In 5 more federal states there are plans for fracking.
  • October 2012: Further to the new studies published by NRW government, the Hessian environmental minister has officially announced that no exploration license will be granted for North-Hessia at least until Spring 2013
  • The Greens, the Pirates (Piratenpartei) and the Socialists (Die Linke) reject fracking on principle. For the other parties, it is very inconsistent.
  • June 2012: Moratorium request from the Greens and SPD at the national level, but widely rejected by CDU and FDP

Shale Gas activities

There a several companies holding concessions for the exploration of unconventional gas reservoirs:

    • BNK Petroleum, Inc. (Vancouver, Canada)
    • A-TEC Anlagentechnik GmbH
    • Stadtwerke Hamm, Dr. R. Gaschnitz aix.o.therm GeoEnergien
    • Mingas-Power gmbH
    • BEB Erdgas uns Erdöl GmbH, Modil Erdgas-Edröl GmbH
    • RAG Anthrazit Ibbenbüren GmbH 85298500 05.04.2008
    • Mobil Erdgas-Edröl GmbH
    • Wintershall Holding GmbH
    • Queensland Gas Company Ltd. (Brisbane, Australia)
  • The amount of shale gas resources is estimated to be up to 22.6 trillion m³. Accordingly, amounts of technically recoverable natural gas vary from 0.7 to 2.3 trillion m³. In addition, Germany has reserves of CBM in the amount of approximately 3 trillion m³ (GIP).
  • In Germany, about 130 wells have been drilled so far; approximately 27 fracks have been made most of them in tight gas-formations. There are numerous reports of accidents, but there is no official register.
  • 4th October: Leak from a waste water drainage pipeline -> 30m² of land polluted by unidentified hazardous compounds
  • Mapping of the unconventional gas activities:
    Click here for map

    • Blue: planned drilling
    • Pink: completed drilling, exploitation
    • Volcanos: Earth tremors
    • Green: Waste water burying sites
    • Blue lines: Driving accidents / soil contamination
    • Red triangle: Mines used to bury waste muds / former oil wells

Level of mobilisation

  • Besides BUND, there are about 20 regional initiatives (see www.gegen-gasbohren.de):
    • IG ‘Gegen Gasbohren’ Nordwalde
    • BIGG Drensteinfurt
    • IG Borken
    • IG ‘Schönes Lünne’
    • BIGG Hamm
    • IG Märkischer Kreis
    • BIGG Werne
    • BIST Herbern
    • BIST Witten
    • IG Breitbrunn
    • IG Elsass/Baden Württemberg
    • IG Hamminkeln/Niederrhein
    • IG Neustadt a. Rgbe.
    • Post Fossil – AG Kassel
    • IG “Gegen Gasbohrungen” Bad Laer
    • IG “FRACK-loses Gasbohren”
    • AK-Zukunft Bergkamen
    • BI “No fracking” Völkersen
    • IG Fracking freies Bad Rothenfelde
    • AK Fracking Braunschweiger Land
    • Aktionbündnis No Moor Fracking
    • BI “Frac-Freies Bissendorf”
    • BIGG Hochsauerland
    • BI “Fahner Höhe” / Thüringen
    • IG “Fracking-freies Artland”
    • IG “No Fracking” Bodensee-Oberschwaben
    • Aktionsbündis “No Fracking” Mülheim / Rhur
    • BI “Kein Fracking” Unstrut-Hainich
    • BI “Fracking freies Hessen”
    • BI für ein lebenswertes Korbach
  • There are a lot of internet activities, occasional meetings, a single conferences (September 27 in Dortmund), but apart from that the coordination is not very well established. Even the BUND headquarter in Berlin has no capacities to support the local groups.
  • The BUND is as an expert on parliamentary hearings in different state parliaments and in the Bundestag. Numerous lectures, panel discussions and continuous press work are part of our work.
  • A lot of political support is given by the Greens and there is a good cooperation with local water suppliers. Because of our joint activities.
  • More details on www.bund-nrw.de/fracking
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Posted in Reports, Reports Europe

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