Tags / fracking
A gas flare is a combustion device used in oil or gas production sites having wells and rigs. This operation consists in burning off the overproduced gas, which would be too much expensive to stock and transport. Gas flaring has serious environmental consequences and it is a significant source of carbon dioxide (as well as several other carcinogenic substances) emissions.
In 2014, the citizens of a small group of Mediterranean islands stood up against a powerful oil prospection company. The seismic testing and fracking planned not only could jeapordise the natural habitat of the Balearic Islands, but also the tourism model that economically sustains many residents. What began as the rebel actions of a few, soon became a full scale battle. The result of the battle remains uncertain, yet what is clear is that the fight of Balears Diu No! continues.
In July 2011 France was the first European country to pass a law (“Loi Jacob”) banning the technique of hydraulic fracturing for extracting natural gas and oil. The big popular demonstration of Villeneuve de Berg on February 2011 was an important turning point in the cancellation of the first exploration permits within the Cévennes National Park area and towards the national moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.
Fracking operations produce loud noises and need a stable and strong illumination, even at night. When drilling sites lie a short distance away from houses and villages, the lives of the inhabitants suffer significant difficulties.
Deforestation caused by test extractions of shale gas in Milowo, northern Poland.
A PGNiG worker is verifying the progress of excavation in the fracking site of Lubocino, northern Poland.
A rig used for shale gas extractions by FX Energy, an American oil company.
André Agniel, former Mayor of Aujac from 2001 to 2014, poses next to the Rue Josh Fox plate. This street has been named after the young American director and activist Josh Fox, author of Gasland. In 2010 this documentary was the first and the most important testimony against fracking that led to the creation of several protest movements all over the world. Rue Josh Fox was inaugurated on the 29th of May 2014.
ENI headquarters. In 2010 the Italian oil company ENI (Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi) obtained three licenses for shale gas exploitation in Poland. After less than four years, the company was among the first ones to give up all of its polish shale gas permits because of tough geology and an unclear regulatory environment.
A Chevron billboard inside the central railway station in Bruxelles. In June 2014, the Belgian capital has hosted the G8 summit about clean energy and climate change
Andrea is eating lunch with her mother and her father. She says she doesn't know if she will stay in Pungesti when she grows older. She thinks there is no future in Pungesti if Chevron continues its fracking activities because it will destroy the area's natural resources. The majority of villagers in Pungesti are farmers who depend on agriculture to survive.
Andrea is eating lunch with her mother and her father. They took part in protests against Chevron. Police officers are constantly patrolling outside their house.
Two teenagers sitting on the main square, in front of a local shop. Unemployment is a plague in Pungesti. Most people have nothing to do besides hanging out around the bar and shops.
A man on a carriage going through the village's main square. Pungesti is one of Romania's poorest villages. It lacks basic infrastructures such as paved roads.
Two girls playing on the village's main road which also passes by Chevron's compound. Pungesti, Romania.
Pungesti's villagers say environmental impact of fracking is jeopodizing the future of villages like Pungesti. Many young people are already forced to leave the village and go to Western Romania to find work.
Lack of opportunities and poverty is forcing the youth to leave Pungesti. Even education is difficult to access. Children who want to pursue their education after 9th grade are forced to go to school loated 37 kilometers away from Pungesti.
This poor farmer says there is no point in fighting Chevron and the Romanian government because Pungesti's resident will remain poor no matter what happens.
A poor elderly sitting in his small room. The man says the mayor burned down his house after he got in a fight with his father. Residents of Pungesti accuse the village's mayor of corruption.
Teenagers hanging out in the main square. Unemployment forces youth to either leave Pungesti, work with their family or apply for jobs at Chevron.
A farmer on haystack. Most people in Pungesti are farmers and rely on agriculture to survive. They say they oppose Chevron because they were not given enough information about the company's activities. They also fear that fracking will lead to health problems, water and air pollution and deforestation.
The entrance to the Chevron shale gas extraction site in Pungesti, eastern Romania. On the 7th of December, during some violent protests against fracking, the fences of the platform were totally destroyed by the population. Since that day, the Romanian government led by Prime Minister Victor Ponta, declared the area a special security zone. This decision entails a constant presence of the Gendarmerie on site and restricted access to the village.
A man with his horses on the main street of Pungesti. The village is one of the poorest in Romanian. It lacks basic infrastructures like paved roads. Horses remain the main means of transportation.
A man is motivating other protesters before going to Chevron's compound to demonstrate. There is no actual leader, but some people are more active than others and try to encourage people from the village to keep fighting for the cause.
The activists' headquarters from where they organize their protests. At first, activists stayed in tent camps around Chevron's compound. They move to this house when the winter came. Hundreds of activists from all across the country flocked to Pungesti to supports the villagers' fight, but they all left to go back to their hometowns. Only one activist from Bucharest remains in the village now.
A Romanian flag hung in a three. Similar flags and signs saying "Chevron go out" or "No Fracking in Pungesti" have been hung across Pungesti and the surrounding villages to protest against' Chevron's fracking activities in the area. Pungesti, Romania.
A man scouting the area around Chevron's compound. Horses are still the main means of transportation in Pungesti.
Police filming protesters. Activists often post videos on social media to raise awareness about their cause. As a result, the police also started filming the protests in case protesters accuse them of brutality.
A police officer observing villagers protesting against Chevron's fracking activities in the area. Pungesti is one of the poorest villages in Romania but its people have been standing up against the US giant corporation Chevron for months.
A protester is trying to provoke a police officer from the gendarmerie. Both parties constantly try to provoke each other to justify their presence and actions.
Villagers discussing Chevron's activities. Residents and farmers of Pungesti are determined to keep fighting against Chevron's exploitation of their land.
Men from the village often gather to discuss issues and strategies related to Chevron's activities in the area.
A carriage on a muddy road in Pungesti. Pungesti is one of Romania's poorest villages. It lacks basic infrastructures. Only the village's main road is paved.
Pungesti is a typical Romanian village, with a church, a bar and a small bank and post office. Pungesti, Romania. Unemployment and poverty is forcing young people to leave the village.
Children playing football in front of the fields used by local farmers and also located next to Chevron's compound.
Chevron guard signaling demonstrators to back up from Chevron's compound in Pungesti. Guards are well equipped with helmet, shin pads and glasses. Many residents were injured by guards and the riot police in protests that turned violent.
The villagers of Pungesti, Romania are unlikely eco-activists. The tiny village garnered worldwide attention in October 2013 when villagers started protesting against US energy giant Chevron's fracking activities in their village. Hundreds of activists from across the country also flocked to the Pungesti to support the residents in their fight. Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, consists of pumping chemicals at high pressure into deep rock to extract oil or gas. The village's inhabitants, most of whom are elderly farmers who rely on agriculture to survive, are worried fracking could damage the local environment by contaminating their land and ground water. They say fracking will lead to health problems, air pollution and deforestation. Following the protests, police and gendarmerie increased their presence in the village and many residents were subsequently injured in protests that turned violent.
In 2010, the Romanian Government quietly allowed fracking operations to commence by signing an agreement with Chevron, giving it access to more than two million acres of land in Romania. The villagers managed to collect over a thousand signatures from a population of 3,300 for a petition demanding the dismissal of the mayor, who they accuse of corruption. However, the Romanian government disregarded the petition and the mayor remains in office.
A child holds a lamb in front of his house. Paltinis, a small village in the Vaslui region, is mainly populated by Gypsies, a community entirely devoted to agriculture and livestock farming. Chevron has planned to explore shale gas and start its second Romanian fracking site in the village.
Alexandru shares a small house with a group of anti-fracking protesters. The house is located near the drilling platform and since last January it has become the Resistance of Pungesti headquarters.
Some houses in eastern Romania still don't have running water. Aquifer and groundwater pollution would be major issues in the gipsy village of Paltinis, where a shale gas exploration project is due to start in the next months.