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Energy giants to drill for untapped natural gas in Rhineland

The Local · 3 Nov 2010, 09:02

Published: 03 Nov 2010 09:02 GMT+01:00

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US oil company ExxonMobil, along with energy firms from Australia, Canada and Germany have been granted permission by the state to conduct test drilling that will cost millions, the WAZ media group reported.

Citing an answer from state Economy Minister Harry Voigtsberger to a Green party state parliamentary inquiry into the matter, the paper said that the drilling would span across land equalling almost half of the state’s size.

The focal point will be near the northern Münsterland region. ExxonMobil plans to begin drilling in Borken, Steinfurt and Nordwalde soon. Other regions include the northern and southern Ruhr Valley and counties in Sauerland.

The Green party told the paper they had been blindsided by the news.

“We are surprised,” said federal parliamentary energy expert for the Greens Oliver Krischer. “We didn’t know a thing. The claims were staked quietly and secretly.”

The natural gas in question is “unconventional,” stored in rock strata and coal seams, and can only be extracted with great effort, he said.

The Greens fear that extraction methods could damage ground water, and citizens in the Münsterland region have already founded an initiative to fight the drilling, the paper said.

Story continues below…


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:41 November 3, 2010 by majura
I believe Die Gruenen are referring to the process of "Hydraulic Frac'ing"

A film called Gas Land covers the affects of it.
12:42 November 3, 2010 by William Thirteen
00:29 November 4, 2010 by proclusian
This is an unmitigated disaster. Fracking has caused untold damage to water tables and natural aquifers in the eastern United States. How is it possible that the CDU should grant these permissions for NRW without consulting the citizens or at least the government of the State?
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