Shell to explore new oilfields 'non-invasively' in Basilicata

The oil and gas giant Shell will explore oilfields in southern Italy

  POTENZA -- The Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company Shell will explore new oilfields in southern Italy, with a “soft” and non-invasive technique, the company said Friday.

 The oil company Shell wants to explore the oilfields in the heart of the southern Italian Basilicata region -- not only does the Maddalena mountain chain interest the oil giant, but also the zones of Cesara and Pigneto.

 The Anglo-Dutch company has already managed to launch the evaluative procedure into the impact of exploring these two other reserves within the Italian Environment Ministry.

 In order to listen to the subsoil in the search for resources, Shell will adopt a new “passive” technique that will supposedly not create disturbances.

 However, activist committees and trade unions are expressing concern, fearing terrible consequences for the local environment.

 In the meantime, other projects are getting the go-ahead from the Environment Ministry -- one in Ragusa for extraction of resources using three wells, one in the historic Clara and Bonaccia reserves in the Adriatic, and a study approved in the Ionic sea along Crotone, in a vast area in the middle of the Taranto gulf.

 In the regions of Calabria and Romagna, local politicians are becoming worried due to the constant hunt for reserves.

 Shell has said that the Basilicata project will be a special case in that instead of using the usual method of producing artificial sounds -- creating vibrations that allow the company to use echography to gauge the shape of the subsoil -- they will here simply use the sounds already produced by the likes of trains and cement factories, without puncturing the earth.

 Shell’s exploration will be carried out in collaboration with the world of research, and the findings will be used by the universities of Naples and Potenza, and by the National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology in order to understand better the tormented subsoil of those regions.

 The oil and gas company has said that if they find any hints of oil deposits, “continuing the dialogue with national and local institutions and in full respect of the law, the terrain and its inhabitants, we will present a specific evaluation of the environmental impact of each of the successive phases of exploration in the workplan.”