Friday, April 12

Spain could have a gas reserve for several decades, but refuses to exploit it, why?


In 2015, the fracking fever tried to land in Europe and, specifically, in Spain, following in the footsteps of the US. However, pressure from environmentalists and exporting countries fighting to avoid it, led to its prohibition.

Fracking is the process of drilling into the earth before directing a mixture of high-pressure water into the rock to release the gas inside.. Water, sand, and chemicals are injected into the rock under high pressure, allowing gas to be directed toward the wellhead.

The extensive use of fracking in the United States, where it has revolutionized the energy industry, has raised environmental concerns as it uses huge amounts of water, which must be transported to the site.

In addition to earthquakes, environmentalists say that potentially carcinogenic chemicals can leak during drilling and contaminate surrounding groundwater.

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This, together with an intensive campaign to lower prices by exporting countries, is what ended up banning this activity throughout Europe.

However, according to several studies, In 2014 we had 70 years of natural gas consumption, as well as enough oil resources to cover 20% of needs for 20 years.

A study carried out by Deloitte estimates, through fracking, a base scenario of 2,000 million barrels of oil equivalent and 2,500 bcm (billions of cubic meters of natural gas). This would be a great wealth, considering current prices.

And it is that, by 2014, when the Rajoy Government put this possibility on the table, Spain had, in the case of natural gas, a level of resources of about 70 times its annual demand.

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However, and despite the fact that this is unlikely to become a reality, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has highlighted the important role that Spain can play in reducing the EU’s dependence on gas from Russia.

And it is that, Spain’s LNG storage capacity of 3.31 million cubic meters is higher to 2.09 million from the United Kingdom (22% of the total), 1.35 million from France (14%), 0.56 million from Belgium (6%) and 0.54 million from Italy (5% ).

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What’s more, we import 99% of natural gas from ten different countries, which gives the Spanish gas system a large supply capacity. Most of them come from Algeria (44%) and only 10.5% from Russia.

Now the problem is that you would have to resolve the lack of existing gas pipeline connections between Spain and the rest of continental Europe. Furthermore, this could cause a bottleneck in the Pyrenees.

The Spanish Minister for Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, declared on Monday, March 9, that her government is willing to launch the project in Catalonia, provided that the EU covers the cost.

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