Fracking wider-spread in Romania than feared, according to activists who have collected a map

According to a blog post on the Frack Off Romania website, the hydraulic fracking activity near Pungesti Romania is not the only fracking activities in that country.  When I first started covering the anti-fracking protests in Pungesti, the activists claimed that Pungesti was the first instance of fracking in Romania, and that Romanians had to hold the line there or it would be all over the country.  Even with the site in Pungesti, the purpose was secret, and if it weren’t for some research by Pungesti residents the purpose of that site might not have been known.

In other words, the claim is that the Romanian Government was supporting fracking activities in secret.  Turns out that idea worked out well, because there are already dozens of suspected fracking sites across Romania, that had been set up without public knowledge.  The Frack Off Romania blog has collected a map of dozens of sites along with links to news reports.

Frack Off Romania map on maps.google.com

This is a screen capture of the map.  The orange “volcano” symbols are wells with drilling towers, the blue symbols are exploratory wells, and the yellow pins are sites with unknown purpose.

For something that was supposedly not yet being done in Romania, the effects are certainly widespread across the country.  However this all appears to be early exploratory work and not finished operating wells.  In some cases it’s not clear the reports linked by Frack Off Romania are discussing fracking operations.

What Frack Off Romania has to say in their blog post is:

Most of the rigs on this map have been lately discovered by citizens and they are mostly feared to be for fracking. Most of them have been erected without any labelling, without displaying an information plate about the project, the society running it. Further more, the seismic testing activities started in many places in Romania without any papers from the environmental protection agencies. Romania has turned into a Wild…east… We fear the worst for the time when the weather will get better and we will organise teams of rig-hunters (cartographers).
Conditions currently in Romania are cold and snowy, which is surely limiting everyone’s ability to work.  But we should expect more activity from these people over discovering the truth of these operations.

It’s worth repeating this map, showing the places on-shore and off-shore that Romania has awarded to various fossil fuel companies for fossil fuel exploration.  I’d come across this map while looking for news about earthquakes near Galati that were probably caused by hydraulic fracturing operations, while the Government denies hydraulic fracturing is occurring in that area, some news reports suggest that it is actually happening.  Not only were there earthquakes, but wells were poisoned by hydrogen sulfide rendering the water unsafe and the government was trucking in bottled water instead.

Here’s some of the news reports linked from the map.

Putna In Danger – October 2013 – concerns Putna Monastery in Bucovina and proposed fracking exploration.  The Monks are resisting the exploration because of risk of environmental harm, and they’d already found hydrogen sulfide contamination in some of their wells.

Vulpesti, county Arges – This picture shows a drilling rig and a slew of tanker trucks.

Some of the reports on their map may be simple gas drilling, and not involving hydraulic fracturing.
Petrom has set a world record drilling in Gorj – reports on a world record set by Petrom for “drilling with casing in which the drill string diameter and depth of the probe.”  Nothing in this report talks about fracking combined with the drilling.  The record was certified by Odfjell Well Services Totea 4545 probe, located in the village of Fireflies, Gorj county, which was forced to column 20 inches to a depth of 505 meters, the reservoir Totea Deep in Oltenia.

That report does say this:

Technical casing drilling is used in the mining and extraction of the water and oil industry was introduced in 2002. OMV Petrom turned to this technique in 17 projects since 2012. Drilling with casing has a number of advantages, such as reduction of the operational costs, reduced drilling time and the number of incidents caused by stuck pipe.
A blog post, New probe for gas and oil shale near Adjud, goes over a proposed project for hydraulic fracturing.  The location is next to a major river and is located within the protected hydrological area for the municipal water supply of Adjud.

Public notice of the request for issuing the environmental agreement for the “work environment probe 8 Few” proposed to be located in the town Sucutard, no. fn acc site plan and plan of employment in the area, common jacket, Cluj, holder: SNGN ROMGAZ SA – Targu Mures.  This is a public notice by the National Agency for Environmental Protection (Agenția Națională pentruProtecția Mediului) for public comment on a project near Targu Mures.  Details aren’t shown on the website, but documents are available for public viewing and there is an email address.  The general idea is exploratory drilling.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

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