Spain's oil deposits and fracking sites a historical trend

pecunia sage By pecunia sage, 17th Mar 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Analysis

Oil exploration in sunny Spain,pop stars social chatter and oil companies running to the government,Pecunia sage had to dig a bit deeper

Fracking on Ibiza

Major offshore oil discoveries and prospects for shale gas extraction are generating excitement in Spain especially in Ibiza. The discovery of two significant offshore deposits, and prospects for fracking in many areas, has triggered a demand for exploration permits up 35% since 2012.

Two major British oil companies, Edinburgh based oil and gas exploration company Cairn Energy CNE (LON) and the Anglo-Turkish firm Genel Energy (GENL: London) estimate that the deposits in a series of oilfields off the Canaries amount to 500m barrels of crude. Genel Energy tweeted it found oil 200km north-east of Canary Islands in Sidi Moussa-1 well off Moroccan coast.coast. Genal owns 60% of the partnership with two other Spanish companies.

Reports suggest that there is an estimated 2bn barrels of oil and 2.5bn cubic meters of gas on Spanish soil. Deloitte predicts that Spain could become a gas exporter by 2031 while producing 20% of the oil it consumes. The main offshore deposits lie between Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands, and Morocco, and in the Bay of Valencia, close to Ibiza.

As both the Canaries and Ibiza are places of great natural beauty whose main industry is tourism, there has been intense opposition to the plans. Opposition is so fierce in Ibiza that celebrities such as Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Fatboy Slim, Paris Hilton, and rapper Puff Daddy have been voicing there concerns over the social media

With 6 million people unemployed and an economy that shows only weak signs of recovery, the oil industry could create 250,000 jobs and constitute 4.3% of GDP by 2065. Spain depends on imports for 99% of its oil and gas needs. Aside from some coal mines in the north, the country, has never been blessed with energy resources. It has a highly developed hydroelectricity industry – only China and the U.S. have built more dams – and its ageing nuclear power stations meet 20% of demand. Wind power provides 20% of the grid and solar 3%

Exploration in the Spanish Mediterranean is not new: There have been 689 wells drilled in Spain between 1960 and 2010. At least 200 of them were located in the Mediterranean and approximately 200,000km of seismic data has been acquired offshore Spain over the last 40 years; 100,000km of which were in the Mediterranean.

Cairn Energy is currently at the very early stages of assessing whether to explore for hydrocarbons. Cairn is proposing 3D seismic acquisition in an area where the perimeters are approximately 50km from Valencia City, 53km from the island of Ibiza and 32km from Columbretes Islands and intends to acquire the data at a time when any impact will be at a minimum; this is likely to be in the winter months.

Seismic surveys are one of the best forms of research. The surveys utilize sound waves to generate 2D or 3D models of the sub-surface, which help to identify geological or rock structures which may contain oil or gas. At sea specially equipped ships tow strings of floating cables which emit sound waves directed at the sea bed and record the reflected sound waves as seismic data.

Cairn Energy says it fully respects the rights of individuals and organisations to express their views and works with the local communities to understand any concerns they have. In Spain Cairn has already engaged with local communities including a number of non-governmental organisations around their plans to acquire seismic data.


Economic And Social Issues, Economic Development, Economics, Economy, Exploration, Fracking, Information, Investment, Oil, Spain

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author avatar pecunia sage
I worked in the financial markets for over 20 years advising clients on various investments . over the years I have gathered many sources of information and become good at putting all together

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
14th May 2015 (#)

I do hope breakthrough in solar energy will make the fossil fuels retreat to the background. A good share and I feel there are better options - siva

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