Friday, February 12, 2010

Gazprom Goe$ "Green"!

“Not every housewife is aware of the environmental consequences of the use of shale gas...I don’t know who would take the risk of endangering drinking water reservoirs."---Alexander Medvedev, Director-General of Russia's Gazprom Export

The finger-wagging Alexander Ivanovich Medvedev..."is a suspected former KGB agent and the current Deputy Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Russian energy company Gazprom, and the Director-General of Gazprom's export arm Gazprom Export" (Wikipedia).

Gazprom's Medvedev is voicing some not-very-sincere concerns about the possible contamination of America's water table due to the production of shale gas. The Wall Street Journal (2-10-10) reports:

The quality of drinking water in France or Texas is not something you’d expect to be troubling a top executive from one of the world’s mightiest energy companies–Russia’s Gazprom. Yet time and again at a press conference yesterday in London, Alexander Medvedev, head of the export arm of the world’s largest gas producer, expressed his concern about pollution of the water table in Europe and the U.S. resulting from the production of shale gas.

“Not every housewife is aware of the environmental consequences of the use of shale gas,” said an exasperated Medvedev. “I don’t know who would take the risk of endangering drinking water reservoirs.

Gazprom is following with great concern a review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency into whether the production of shale gas in the U.S. is a threat to clean drinking water, he added.

But this isn’t pure environmental altruism. A huge boom in the production of shale gas, which is released from rock by blasting a mixture of water and chemicals into tiny fractures, has created a supply glut in the U.S. that has edged Gazprom out of what it hoped would be an important new market for its shipments of liquefied natural gas.

Gazprom has already been forced to divert cargoes from its Sakhalin-2 LNG project from the U.S. to China and push back the startup of the huge Shtokman LNG project high in Russia’s Arctic because of the big and unexpected changes in the U.S. gas market shale gas has wrought. It is dreading the effect that a similar shale gas boom could have on its most important export market–Western Europe. [See full text.]

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