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You're reading: Expert draws attention to negative environmental impact of developing shale gas fields in Ukraine

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.

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