Shale gas and the war in East Ukraine | Featured |

Shale gas and the war in East Ukraine Print This ShareThis

By Victoria Parker in Ukraine, Axis of Logic

Axis of Logic

Saturday, Jul 12, 2014

The great economic interest the USA had in Ukraine appeared slightly muted due to sharp political events in the South-East. Although, if we examine more closely, the real reason underlying the non-stop bloodbath becomes very clear.

For years, American oil companies have been putting pressure on European countries, seeking to persuade them to develop shale gas. Despite Europe’s dependence on the USA, there is quite solid resistance to this idea from the population of these countries. Bulgaria, France, United Kingdom, and Poland failed to endorse this project. Even Romania is going to introduce a moratorium on the exploration and production of shale gas.

Only Ukraine agrees.

The environmental impacts of shale gas are catastrophic. They include earthquakes, floods, groundwater pollution, and pestilence of marine animals, birds, and fish, streams of water boiling with methane, and poisoned drinking water and air. People that live nearby shale gas developments have observed poisoning, accompanied by headaches, loss of consciousness, they have neuropathy, asthma, cancer, and other diseases. Drinking water just cannot be drinking water anymore. It becomes murky, even black. If the water flowing from the tap can be burned, than what will happen to the people who consume it?


“so far there is no information about the means of disposing of thousands of cubic meters of fracturing fluid from several thousand wells, which will produce shale gas. Are they really going to be buried in the ground or discharged into water bodies? The experience of foreign companies in third world countries (Ukraine cannot even claim to be the one of them) shows that they are capable of environmental crimes (Ecuador, Nigeria, etc.) “ [see here]

This is particularly the case for Chevron and Shell, both of which have been implicated in major human rights violations in Nigeria. Chevron has been accused of recruiting and supplying Nigerian military forces involved in massacres of environmental protesters in the oil-rich Niger Delta, and Shell has faced charges of complicity in torture and other human rights abuses against the Ogoni people of southern Nigeria. [see here]

However, the “government of liquidators” (since their main function is to liquidate Ukraine) doesn’t care about such trifles. Their task is to sell and destroy the rest of what was once a naturally rich region, including natural resources, and then profiteer from it before quietly exiting the scene. However … Who among those who exclaim their love of Ukraine is not also ready to sell it?

For the US, Putin’s blitz over Crimea was very painful for the reason of misguided expectations. Money was already invested into gas exploration in Crimea. Companies such as Chevron, Shell, ExxonMobil, Repsol and Petrochina were going to develop their offshore energy assets.

Yanukovych’s government sold 5 provinces of Ukraine to the Anglo-Dutch company, Shell, and US Chevron for 50 years, with rights for renewal at their discretion.

Besides, last year Ukrainian government held a series of talks and agreements, such as:

With ExxonMobil on the study of hydrocarbons in the western Black Sea coast of Ukraine.

With the Italian energy company Eni on the development of unconventional hydrocarbons in the Black Sea.

On December 13, 2013 the well-known cookie giver, Victoria Nuland, made a speech at an international business conference organized by Chevron where she urged Ukraine to sign a new deal with the IMF, which “… will lead to an increase in foreign direct investment, which is so urgently needed in Ukraine.” Based on who organized the conference, it is clear what kinds of investments are in question.


This year, negotiations took place between Chevron and the Ukrainian government on strengthening the development of shale in Western Ukraine, as well as the signing of an agreement between Royal Dutch Shell and the government of Yanukovych to study shale formations in Eastern Ukraine.

According to Article 2.5.3 of Agreement, the Ukrainian government has no right to refuse to renew this agreement.

Appendix 1 of the Agreement with the company «Shell» given the exact coordinates of the “Treaty Land” to be allocated for shale gas. This area mainly is Donetsk and Kharkiv provinces (approx. 7,886 square kilometers), including such major cities as Slavyansk, Izum, Barvenkovo​​, a huge chunk of Kramatorsk, part Druzhkivka and Balakley, as well as dozens and hundreds of smaller settlements.

According to Article 37.2 (b) of Agreement, properties of residents of these cities no longer belong to the residents.

After the coup, companies and mediators have been removed and were replaced with another one – Burisma Holdings.

It’s enough to look at the official website of “Burisma”, as if “Ukrainian” gas capacity, the largest gas producer in Ukraine, to understand the background of what is happening in Ukraine.

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