Drilling for oil in Abruzzo

09/29/2009 - 05:30

The wrong kind of oil?Not many people may be aware that there is a plan by the Italian energy company ENI to drill for oil in Abruzzo.  According to an article in today's Corriere della Sera, the company has well advanced plans to drill in 'half the region' with an oil extraction plant in Ortona, drilling and processing plants elsewhere.http://www.corriere.it/cronache/speciali/2009/italia-da-salvare/articoli...Campaigners are painting a picture of widespread environmental damage and the destruction of communities and culture, as well as the obvious implications for tourism.    Should this be taken seriously?  Does anyone have further information on how serious a threat this really is to the environment and tourism in the area?   Mike 



Why would you not take this seriously? Much as I love Abruzzo and feel a great connection with it I also feel angry at the shortsightedness of it's politicians and planners.We all know that as oil starts to run out there will be even more pressure to despoil beautiful regions like Abruzzo in the search for it.Can we do anything? Probably not much as the vested interests will be too powerful,but it would be something to consider when thinking about whre to buy a house.You wouldn't really want to be next to a massive oil rig would you? 

I've been sent these links for more information on the Abruzzo oil project An overview that also draws attention to commercial conflicts of interests on the part of the local mayor - surprise, surprise!http://www.savethemontepulciano.blogspot.com/  A petition (in English) against the oil drilling:http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/dont-drill-abruzzo/  A website claiming that the head of ENI, Paolo Scaroni, has in the past been found guilty of environmental damage and corruption chargeshttp://www.tuttotrading.it/granditemi/inquinamento/060401paoloscaronicon...   

Thanks for the links Mike and raising the profile of these plans again.Do you know if there is an Italian version of the petition? It would be great to get this going on "home" territory too.The whole thing is a bloody disgrace, driven always it seems by the greed of the few, to the cost of many.

 It isnt the end of the world - here in Sicily the govt gave a Texan oil company the rights to search for gas deposits , and they threatened to turn the Val di Noto into a gas plant.  The city of Noto elected a no-gas mayor, and they issued writs against the company for spoiling aquifers.  The carabinieri stopped them drilling and they finally went elsewhere.  Its not impossible to stop them drilling - I would say that in the light of the earthquake there could be high public interest in a potentially disaster prone zone with oil wells aint such a good idea.    If you can find out if they will pollute the water supply you have a legal base to stop any development, if not you need public opinion on your side.  Good luck

you are assuming that there is a any justice in italy !  I may be a miserable g.t but if it exsists I want to know where.Seems to me if you work for the Comune or Police or regional government you just use the job as an opportuning to line your own pocket and b.....r the environmentWhat about Naples?What about unregulated developement of concrete monstrousities all along Italy's coast ?What about The Camorra ?What about Bussi ?What about Del Turco? I could go on.

 My Abruzzo home - you could go on and on - but they are two different things.  Organised crime is one, regrettably, huge factor in living in Italy - but I assume the oil drilling in Abruzzo isnt being run by organised crime, even if some elements would benefit from it.   The sotry of the Val di Noto is ample testimony to the fact that public pressure can stop some of the more outlandish schemes that are proposed.  The key thing to remember in Italy, and one that the Italians fail miserably at, is to keep it a single issue pressure group, and dont be tempted to draw in allcomers who each have their own agenda. 

Dear all,OIL DRILLING CRISIS IN ABRUZZO! Here is a full briefing on the plans by multinational oil companies and self-serving Italian politicians to extract for oil right across Abruzzo - 'the green heart of Europe'.   Imagine the uproar if Tuscany was turned into an oilfield!   Well, that is what they plan for Abruzzo.A one-year moratorium on oil drilling in the region expires at the end of December this year, 2009.  They could start drilling in 2010? If anyone wishes to learn more or get involved in a campaign against thios environmental obsecenity, I am posting separately further details of how to join the 'No to Oil in Abruzzo!' campaigns.   Abruzzo Mike. This briefing had been written by Maria Rita D'Orsogna, an expert on this crisis:       Oil in Abruzzo, facts on why we are opposed to it 1) As illustrated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the plan is to drill Abruzzo on a large scale. About 49% of the region is designated either as an extraction site or permits are pending. Abruzzo has been recognized as the green heart of Europe due to its extraordinary biodiversity and ecological richness. Areas to be drilled include national parks, prime agricultural and wine land and the Adriatic sea, just a few kilometers off the coast. About 220 municipalities out of 300 are affected by the proposed drilling. It has been estimated that roughly 80% of the people of Abruzzo would be impacted by hydrocarbon recovery and/or refining facilities. The projects involve oil wells, at least one refinery (potentially two) and several oil offshore rigs - complete with desulfurization units in the sea. The latter are to be drilled all along the 100 kilometers of the Abruzzo coast. In some areas (Vasto) there are proposals for drilling 2km offshore and right adjacent to the state park called "Punta Aderci", a natural reserve and bird sanctuary. Similarly, oil rigs are planned for Ortona (6km offshore) Pineto (about 7km offshore), Pescara (3km). Pineto's rig would fall right into the natural marine reserve Torre del Cerrano. Among the drilling proponents are Petroceltic (Ireland), Mediterranean Oil and Gas (UK), Forest Oil (USA), ENI (Italy), Edison (Italy) and Gas Plus (Italy). 2) The oil that Abruzzo holds is of poor quality. Its API index (as estimated both from Rospo Mare, already in production, and from tests conducted in Ortona) is between 11 and 12. As a comparison, Alberta's tar sands - arguably the worst 'oil' in the world - carry an index of about 8. Texas crude has an index of 40 API. Abruzzo's oil is heavy sour, with high and polluting sulfuric content and desulfuriazion plants will be necessary. An oil refinery has been already planned for Ortona (right in the middle of a wineries from which Montepulciano d'Abruzzo grapes are harvested) together with about 10km of pipelines linking oil field, refinery and port. All this just for Ortona. 3) Abruzzo's economy is primarily based on agriculture, winemaking and a small but growing tourism industry. In particular the provinces of Chieti and Teramo have heavily invested in promoting their beaches and natural scenery as attractions to tourists. Citizens rightly fear that oil is incompatibile with their way of life and current economy. 4) Italy's legislation is quite permissive, when it comes to environmental protection. For instance, there is no limit for offshore drilling. By comparison, here in California no new oil rigs are permitted within a 100 mile buffer zone to protect our coasts. Similarly, legal emission limits from oil refineries are way beyond what is recommended by the World Health organization. For insatnce, in the case of H2S (hydrogen sulfide, a byproduct of the refinining of heavy crude) Italy allows the limit around refineries to be about 20ppm. The WHO recommends 0.005pm. 5) In Italy, drilling on a large scale has already been carried out in the region of Basilicata, where about 70% of the territory is covered by oil permits. As reported by the Corriere della Sera, Repubblica, and local Basilicata newpapers, the result is that after 15 years agriculltural production of olives and wine has declined by 50%, emigration and corruption are rampant, cancer rates have been increasing, water reservoirs have been polluted. ENI and Total have drilled within the Val D'Agri National Park, close to people' towns and within wineries. There is pending litigation against ENI for pollution in the town of Viggiano. 6) Mobilization has been very strong and has included segments of society that traditionally does not get involved with environmental affiars. So far the organizations that have opposed drilling (aside from traditional environmental groups such as WWF, Legamabiente and Greenpeace) include: -The Catholic Church (the entire Abruzzo and Molise federation of bishops produced a document opposing drilling) -Assoturisimo (the association of tourist operators) -Confcommercio (the association of commerce operators) -Confederazione dell'artigianato e della piccola impresa (the association of small business and for arts and crafts) - The province of Chieti - The union of winemakers and of course several municipalities, schools, and other cultural, sporting and social groups. Some associations were created just in opposition to drilling. We are not politicized. According to a December 2008 poll, 75% of Abruzzo inhabitants were opposed to drilling, 10% were in favor of it, and the rest did know enough to have an opinion about it. Most of all activities, informative materials, coordinating and convincing people has been carried out by myself throughout the internet, youtube and several trips to Italy within the past few years. I have toured the region several times and have given talks in Milan, Venice, Bologna, Basilciata, Rome, Sardinia and Genoa where they have similar problems. 7) What we want is a 30 year moratorium to stop drilling in Abruzzo. A temporary moratorium already is in place but will expire on December 31st 2009. It was passed on March 4th 2008, when about 6,000 people descended upon l'Aquila the day it was being debated in the regional parliament. At the time, the governor was Ottaviano del Turco, who later resigned on charges of a 6 million euro bribe. He was in favor of driling but signed the moratorium due to pressure from the public. The new governor of Abruzzo, Gianni Chiodi and his deputy for the environment, Daniela Stati, refuse to engage in public debates and to take any initiative whatsoever either in support or against drilling. They have not stated publicly what they intend to do after December 31st 2009, despite several attempts to contact them, including by the national media. They are basically ignoring the issue.

Dear all,Contacts on line for the campaign against oil drilling in Abruzzo: YouTube postings and blog by Prof Maria Rita D'Orsogna ( of LA University, USA):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooWKJRWB-2ohttp://www.dorsogna.blogspot.com/http://savethemontepulciano.blogspot.com/  There is now two Facebook groups:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=55038062025&ref=search&sid=100000411762141.550364796..1and http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=info&ref=search&gid=65208642677  Twitter Campain http://twitter.com/nooilabruzzo  The person who set up the twitter campain has a house in Teramo province and runswww.lifeinabruzzo.comand this article http://www.lifeinabruzzo.com/the-fight-against-oil-to-protect-abruzzo/probably resulted in this onehttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8152759.stm  Tonino, in Lancian, has written as follows and I pass it on:"Io sono coinvolto in prima persona in questa lotta, infatti faccio parte di un movimento di cittadini che si oppone a questo scempio della terra d'Abruzzo.Il nostro Movimento www.nuovosensocivico.it tramite anche il suo Blog che ti invito a visionae,si occupa da due anni di questo problema, cercando di informare più gente possibile.Il nstro Presidente, Antonello Tiracchia è anche un famoso regista di documentari di guerra che ha preso molto a cuore questo problema, ha realizzato anche due film sull'argomento ("Il ritorno di Attila" e "Viaggio nei paesi dell'ormai")Siamo riusciti perfino ad ottenere sopralluoghi, interviste e riprese televisive  TV dalla RAI, dai quotidiani nazionali (Corriere della Sera, La stampa, Il Giornale ecc.) proprio questa mattina sul quotidiano La Repubblica nel suo inserto settimanale: "Il Venerdi di Repubblica" c'è un articolo che parla del Centro Oli.Stiamo girando l'Abruzzo in lungo e in largo per informare la gente con convegni riunioni e la proiezione del film "Viaggio nei paesi dell'ormai", infatti domani pomeriggio dobbiamo andare a Penne (PE) per un altro di questi convegni, mentre sempre alla stessa ora una nostra delegazione incontrerà il Presidente della Regione: Gianni Chiodi.Stiamo cercando di convincere i Politici, perchè sono loro quelli che veramente possono fare qualcosa.Quindi per chiudere, sono molto contento che ti interessi a questo problema e più ci aiuterai più ci darai una mano, più te ne saremo grati e più speranze avremo per salvare l'Abruzzo."   Please send any further contacts and links! Abruzzomike No virus found in this incoming message.Checked by AVG - www.avg.comVersion: 9.0.707 / Virus Database: 270.14.74/2515 - Release Date: 11/20/09 08:02:00

it's not surprising that he governor is sitting on the fence as I bet he hopes to become a very rich man if drliing goes ahead ! I say if but its my impression that it is already taking place in some areas where licences for extraction have been grantedScientists seem to agree that drilling in an earthquake zone carries its own risks. In Basel in Switzerland an earthquake occured soon after some major drilling for a geothermal plant had occured .Smiliar events can be found across the world.I hope that all those ( me included ) who oppose the drilling will also consider the fact that as oil runs out we as a society must start to prepare for the transition from peak oil to no oil .Simply stopping drilling in Abruzzo and turning a blind eye to drilling in other parts of the world or the extraction of tar from Canadian tar sands is not the way forward.If people here have websites it would be good if they include a graphic or logo that can be easily copied and pasted ( there's one on my home page) .

 i got interested after the RAI did a documentray on Basilicata oil development..it came together with me finding this site  http://www.comitatonaturaverde.it/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/    so i wrote about it back then and gave the link.. a couple of members took it seriously i guess... others found it very funny or suggested it would be wonderful for Abruzzoanyway this is the site for the people that had the vision two years back to start action... that have been working ceaselessly ever since in all our names..  and are people that are from Abruzzo, who have a sole interest in preserving their home..  against corruption and oil development... if i was looking for one place to help through or to get informed on it would be this.. because most of the other groups get it all from them anyway ...   

 http://www.nuovosensocivico.blogspot.com/Chiodi is closing the door forever on oil exploration in protected areas of Abruzzo... he was always an environmentalist as president of the province of Teramo.. seems he has kept quite whilst looking for a real and lasting solution.. not just for oil but fo all polluting development... it now has to be passed by the regional parliament