Impacts of Shale Gas and Shale Oil Extraction on the Environment and on Human Health

1.1. Shale gas 12
1.1.1. What is shale gas? 12
1.1.2. Recent development of unconventional gas extraction 14
1.2. Shale oil 15
1.2.1. What is shale oil and tight oil? 15
1.2.2. Recent development of tight oil extraction 16
2.1. Hydraulic fracturing and its possible impacts on the environment 17
2.2. Impacts on Landscape 20
2.3. Air Pollutant Emissions and Soil Contamination 22
2.3.1. Air pollutants from regular operations 22
2.3.2. Pollutants from well blowouts or accidents at drilling sites 24
2.4. Surface and ground water 25
2.4.1. Water consumption 25
2.4.2. Water contamination 27
2.4.3. Waste water disposal 29
2.5. Earthquakes 30
2.6. Chemicals, Radioactivity and Impacts on Human Health 30
2.6.1. Radioactive Materials 30
2.6.2. Chemicals to be used 31
2.6.3. Impacts on human health 34
2.7. Possible long term ecological benefits 35
2.8. Discussion of risks in public debates 36
2.9. Resources consumption 37
3.1. Shale and tight gas 39
3.1.1. Experiences in North America 39
3.1.2. Transferability to European conditions 43
3.1.3. Open issues 46
3.2. Tight oil 46
3.2.1. Experiences in Europe 46
Policy Department A: Economic and Scientific Policy
4.1. Extractive Industry specific Directives 48
4.2. Non-specific Directives (focus: environment and human health) 51
4.2.1. General Mining Risks covered by EU-Directives 51
4.2.2. Specific shale gas and tight oil risks covered by EU-Directives 54
4.3. Gaps and open issues 61
5.1. Introduction 64
5.2. Size and location of shale gas and oil deposits compared to conventional
deposits 65
5.2.1. Shale gas 65
5.2.2. Shale oil and tight oil 68
5.3. Analysis of producing shale gas plays in the United States of America 70
5.3.1. First month production rate 70
5.3.2. Typical production profiles 71
5.3.3. Estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) per well 71
5.3.4. Some examples in the USA 71
5.3.5. Key parameters of major European gas shales 73
5.3.6. Hypothetical field development 74
5.4. Role of shale gas extraction in the transition to a low-carbon economy
and the long-term reduction of CO2 emissions 74
5.4.1. Conventional gas production in Europe 74
5.4.2. Probable relevance of unconventional gas production on European gas supply 75
5.4.3. Role of shale gas production for long-term reduction of CO2 emissions 76

Israel and Turkey Whip-Out Their American-Made Phallus Symbols At Each Other Over Cyprus

Report: Israeli warplanes harassed Turkish seismic ship off East Med

An Israeli F-15 fighter jet prepares to land at an airforce base South of Tel Aviv. A news report said two F-15 jets that took off from Tel Aviv harrased a Turkish seismic research ship which is exploring gas near Cyprus.
A Turkish seismic research ship which is exploring gas near Cyprus was harassed by two low-flying Israel warplanes and a helicopter on Thursday night, Turkish Vatan daily reported on Friday.
Vatan referred to a story by the Greek Cypriot daily Phileleftheros, which argued that Israel boosted its presence in the Eastern Mediterranean as of Thursday night. The report said the two F-15 jets that took off from Tel Aviv flew through the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot airspaces. The jets reportedly ignored warnings from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) officials and got so close to Turkey’s Mediterranean coasts that they could be even seen from Mersin’s beaches, the report said. Turkey then reportedly sent two F-16 jets to the area to track the Israeli jets, which then returned to Israel.

An Israeli military helicopter also flew over the Turkish research ship, Piri Reis, on Thursday night, according to the daily, as it was in the Aphrodite gas field, off Cyprus’ southern coast and adjacent to the larger Leviathan field. The helicopter flew low over the ship for a long time, the report said.

Greek Cyprus has signed agreements to delineate undersea borders in the eastern Mediterranean with Israel, Lebanon and Egypt. A US company licensed by the Greek Cypriot government to drill for gas in the south of Cyprus, Noble Energy, operates with its Israeli partner, Delek.

In December 2010, Noble Energy announced that a gas reserve of 16 trillion cubic feet had been discovered off the coast of Israel, estimated to be worth more than $95 billion. Noble Energy owns nearly 40 percent of the prospective discovery in the Israeli section, alongside Israeli partners Delek Group Ltd. units Avner Oil and Gas LP and Delek Drilling LP, with 22.67 percent each.

In response, Turkey signed an oil and gas exploration deal with the Turkish Cypriots and sent a Turkish research ship to the Mediterranean to start exploration. Turkey opposes exploration of gas in the eastern Mediterranean, saying it has rights in the region as the biggest coastal state and that the Turkish Cypriots, who run a state that is not internationally recognized in the north of the island, should also be involved.

Cyprus is divided into a Greek Cypriot south and a Turkish Cypriot north. The southern administration began exploratory drilling for oil and gas last week, prompting strong protests from Turkey, which does not recognize the Greek Cypriot administration.

Yemen Claims Radical American Cleric Killed in Airstrike

Radical Qaida Cleric Awlaqi Killed in Yemen

by Naharnet Newsdesk

Radical U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi has been killed with several other suspected al-Qaida operatives, the Yemeni defense ministry said on Friday.

The ministry did not elaborate on the circumstances of Awlaqi’s death in a statement released to the media.

But tribal sources told Agence France Presse that Awlaqi, who is wanted by Washington, was killed in an air strike which hit two vehicles in Marib province, an al-Qaida stronghold in eastern Yemen, early on Friday.

Obama Flips-Off China Selling Upgrades for 145 F-16s To Taiwan

China: U.S. arms sale to Taiwan will disrupt military exchanges, joint drills

( Source: Xinhua  )         2011-September-28 17:49

  BEIJING. Sept. 28 (Xinhua) — A defense official on Wednesday said the latest U.S. arms sale to Taiwan will disrupt China-U.S. military exchanges and joint drills.

“In light of the serious damage resulting from the U.S. arms sale to Taiwan, planned China-U.S. military exchanges, including high-level visits and joint exercises, will definitely be impacted,” Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said at a monthly press briefing.

Geng’s comments came a week after the U.S. government notified Congress of its decision to sell arms worth 5.85 billion U.S. dollars to Taiwan, including upgrades for 145 of Taiwan’s fighter jets.

Geng issued a statement condemning the sale, saying the move will create severe obstacles for military exchanges between the U.S. and China.

Chen Bingde, chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army of China, spoke by phone to Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen about the issue last Friday at Mullen’s request, according to Geng.

“Mullen gave explanations for the U.S. arms sale, while Chen expressed China’s solemn stance on the issue,” Geng said.

Geng urged the United States to take immediate and effective measures to dispel any negative impact that the arms sale has had on bilateral military relations.

He called on the United States to honor its commitment regarding the Taiwan issue, stop selling arms and take practical measures to work for the healthy and steady development of China-U.S. military relations.

Editor :  Ouyang Dongmei

Obama, Uzbek leader discuss Afghan supply route

Obama, Uzbek leader discuss Afghan supply route

Uzbek President Islam Karimov speaks at a news briefing after the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Tashkent June 11, 2010. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

By Matt Spetalnick and Susan Cornwell


(Reuters) – President Barack Obama and Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov discussed expanding U.S. use of the central Asian country as a route to supply troops in Afghanistan, a U.S. official said on Thursday, amid growing concern about the viability of Pakistan as a transit route.

The White House said Obama called Karimov on Wednesday to congratulate the former Soviet republic on its 20th anniversary of independence and that the leaders talked about shared interests in a “secure and prosperous” Afghanistan.

Obama’s outreach to Karimov, whose has faced U.S. criticism over his human rights record, came as the United States and Pakistan are locked in a diplomatic crisis over U.S. accusations linking Pakistan’s chief intelligence agency to militant attacks on Americans in Afghanistan.

Rising tension between Washington and Islamabad, at times awkward partners in the fight against Islamic militancy, have raised questions about Pakistan’s role as a major U.S. supply route for American forces fighting in Afghanistan.

That has sent U.S. officials scrambling to consider expanding alternatives to lessen reliance on Pakistan.

A senior Obama administration official said the use of Uzbek territory, which already serves as a key supply route for U.S. war supplies, was an “important topic of discussion” between Obama and Karimov.

On Capitol Hill, U.S. senators have also made a clear push for improving ties with Uzbekistan so that more supplies can be moved to and from Afghanistan through the “Northern Distribution Network” that goes through Uzbekistan.


U.S. lawmakers have become increasingly strident in criticism of Pakistan since last week when the top U.S. military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, accused Pakistani officials of supporting the militant Haqqani network’s September 13 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

U.S. aid to Pakistan is now under review.

The Senate Appropriations Committee last week approved a bill that would allow the United States to waive restrictions on aid to Uzbekistan if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton certifies this is needed to obtain access to and from Afghanistan.

Those restrictions had been placed on aid to Uzbekistan out of concern over its human rights record. The measure must still be approved by the full House of Representatives and Senate.

“We’re going to probably replace 50 percent of what we ship into Afghanistan from Pakistan, will go through the northern route, Uzbekistan,” Senator Lindsey Graham, who is on the committee, told Reuters this week.

“I expect a major breakthrough between us and the Uzbeks in terms of ground and air access,” Graham said.

Karimov has kept a firm state grip on the economy of Uzbekistan, which has reserves of natural gas and is a major producer of cotton and gold.

A former top Communist Party official, Karimov tolerates no dissent in the mostly Muslim nation of 28 million people, the most populous in Central Asia.

No opposition parties are allowed, the media is tightly controlled and rights groups say thousands of political prisons are in jails rife with torture. Karimov’s unflinching style has also caused tension with Uzbekistan’s neighbors.

(Additional reporting by John O’Callaghan; Editing by Will Dunham)

Kabul to Drop Trilateral Peace Effort


European Pressphoto Agency

Kabul to Drop Trilateral Peace Effort


KABUL—Afghanistan plans to suspend an effort to work with Pakistan and the U.S. to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table, Afghan officials said, taking a tougher line with Pakistan after last week’s assassination of Kabul’s top peace negotiator.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai attends a condolence ceremony in Kabul this week for Burhanuddin Rabbani, the slain former President and head of High Peace Council.

Senior U.S., Pakistani and Afghan officials had been set to meet in Kabul on Oct. 8 to discuss ways of getting insurgents into peace talks and ending the 10-year-old conflict. Afghanistan has decided to cancel this meeting, deputy national security adviser Shaida Mohammad Abdali said Thursday.

“From now on Afghanistan will follow ‘trust but verify’ approach towards Pakistan, in particular with regard to our peace effort,” said Mr. Abdali, who suggested that Kabul would no longer accept Pakistan’s offers of help without questioning its sincerity.

Afghanistan is also shelving plans for Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani to visit Kabul at the end of October for a meeting of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Joint Commission for Reconciliation and Peace in Afghanistan, a three-month-old initiative intended to galvanize the peace process.

Officials at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul declined to comment on Afghanistan’s moves. The U.S. still plans to send Marc Grossman, the State Department’s special representative for the region, to Kabul for talks next week that were meant to include the trilateral meeting, said Gavin Sundwall, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy.

Afghanistan’s decision to scuttle the meetings is another setback for U.S.-led efforts to cultivate a regional dialog that would make it easier to withdraw most coalition military forces by late 2014.

The cancellations signal a change in strategy for Afghan leaders, who had sought to use the killing in May of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan as a chance to open a new, conciliatory chapter with Pakistan.

But Afghan and U.S. relations with Islamabad have deteriorated in recent weeks following the Sept. 13 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and the subsequent assassination of former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani.

Last week, outgoing U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen accused Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, of sponsoring the Haqqani network, the militant group blamed by the U.S. for the embassy attack. Pakistani officials rejected the charge.

Afghan officials have also accused Pakistani intelligence of organizing the elaborate ruse that allowed a purported Taliban emissary to kill Mr. Rabbani, who was leading attempts to broker a peace deal with the Taliban’s top leaders, who are believed to be based in Quetta, Pakistan.

“This was a turning point,” Mr. Abdali said of the assassination. “Definitely it goes back to the same place: Pakistan. The phone calls go all the way from here to Quetta.”

The White House has moved to soften American criticism of Pakistan, seeking to prevent a breakdown in relations.

Afghan officials, however, are ratcheting up the pressure. The alleged four-month project to kill Mr. Rabbani—a plot that convinced Mr. Karzai the Taliban were sending a peace envoy—was too complex to have been the sole work of the Taliban or Haqqanis, said Mr. Abdali.

“There is no question Haqqani is hand-in-glove with the ISI,” echoed Jawed Ludin, Afghanistan’s deputy foreign minister. “For Afghanistan, we’re very, very clear that the ultimate responsibility rests with the ISI.”

—Matthew Rosenberg
contributed to this article

Pak/US War Provocation from the Brits

[The following piece of work from the premier London think tank (of course it is “independent” from the crown), Royal United Services Institute, reads like pure provocation.  It is obviously meant to raise temperatures even further on all sides.]

America loses patience with Pakistan

Relations between the US and Pakistan have reached a breaking point.

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari with President  Obama at the White House - America loses patience with Pakistan

Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari with President Obama at the White House Photo: GETTY

By Shashank Joshi

8:34PM BST 29 Sep 2011

Comments33 Comments

Pakistan’s deposed military dictator, Pervez Musharraf, told The Daily Telegraph yesterday that “the United States must accept the compulsions of Pakistan” in using terrorist groups as instruments of foreign policy.

For a decade, the US did just that, even in the face of mounting evidence that Pakistan was responsible for derailing the war in Afghanistan and killing allied forces. But America’s top military officer has now taken the gloves off.

Admiral Mike Mullen, regarded as one of the most pro-Pakistan officials in the US government, has informed the Senate that the Haqqani network – a Taliban-linked insurgent group – is a “veritable arm” of the ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence service. “With ISI support,” said Mullen, the Haqqanis had bombed the US embassy in Kabul earlier this month. For the first time in history, an ally – one which has taken $22 billion of American money since 2002 – stands accused of committing an effective act of war against the US.

We are witnessing the death spasms of an alliance that has been in meltdown from the day it began. Pakistan helped ferry al-Qaeda fighters from Afghanistan after 9/11, and spent the following years helping the Taliban to build up their strength. In 2009, the US tried to repair this by promising billions of dollars and a “strategic partnership” of equals. But a series of incidents this year – from the imprisonment of an American spy to the raid that killed Osama bin Laden – underscores the profound disillusionment felt by a generation of US officials.

There is a dawning realisation that no amount of money will compel Pakistan’s out-of-control army to stop aiding insurgents like the Haqqani network and international terrorists like Lashkar-e-Taiba, responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Even as jihadi outfits tear apart the Pakistani state, the generals can’t give up their addiction to proxy warriors. But if they keep acting like an enemy, the Americans have no choice but to treat them like one.