Expert draws attention to negative environmental impact of developing shale gas fields in Ukraine

Print version
Nov. 27, 2012, 12:03 p.m. | Business — by Interfax-Ukraine

View of a drilling rig exploring for shale gas in the eastern Polish village of Grzebowilk on April 27, 2011.

An expert has said he is alarmed at the possible negative environmental impact of developing shale gas fields in Ukraine.

"During the development of shale gas fields, we could destroy so-called retainers, and cause the migration of gas and chemical agents to higher layers. There is a risk of emissions of gas and other pollutants to the strata of drinking and mineral waters," the senior research officer of the manmade and ecological safety department of National Institute for Strategic Studies, Yevhen Yakovlev, said at a roundtable entitled "Methods of assessing regional ecological risks, foreign experience and the state of the problem in Ukraine" in Kyiv on Monday.

Human-caused earthquakes could be one of the risks of the consequences of developing the shale gas fields, the expert said.

Yakovlev believes that during the exploration of shale gas fields the location of overland infrastructure, the routes of pipelines, water pipelines and transport infrastructure should be taken into account.

He said that Ukraine should take into consideration the experience of the United States, Germany and Austria in the issue, but not copy it, as the geological environment in the United States and other countries differs from the geological environment in Ukraine.

"The study of the technology should be very thorough and reliable, as we're working on a territory densely inhabited compared to the United States. We have a large utilities infrastructure, gas and oil pipelines railway and we have drinking and mineral water deposits. There is an ecological preserve… and we should take these things into account," he said.

Yakovlev said that the forecasts of risks based on the conclusions of scientists lag behind the practical steps being taken in developing shale gas fields in Ukraine.

Yakovlev said that an analysis of social, environmental and economic consequences has not been conducted in Ukraine, and there is no comparative analysis of the effectiveness of shale gas field development, or the possible risks that the work could involvev.

The Kyiv Post is disabling its online comment section due to an increase in trolls, violent comments and other personal attacks. Other news organizations worldwide have taken similar steps for the same reasons. The Kyiv Post regrets having to take this action. The newspaper believes in a robust public debate, but the discussion must be constructive and intelligent. For the time being, the Kyiv Post will allow comments on its moderated Facebook group The newspaper will consider hosting online comments again when circumstances allow. Thank you from the Kyiv Post.


© 1995–2015 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.