Feedback from Helen Travlou to the Local Authorities about Hydrocarbon Mining

The local authorities, after opening the doors to the oil companies (organizing Greek Petroleum events, intending to fund the beaches with the blue flags from the Hellenic Petroleum Exporting Countries [1], etc.), then adopted their arguments.

They tell us about the example of Thassos, where tourism and mining are “perfectly combined”. Only the truth is different. The size of Thassos tourism has nothing to do with the tourism of Kefalonia and the Ionian Islands. Also the oil production in Thassos is very small and the sea depth is only 30m, while in Ionian it will be 1500m. up to 3200m, which makes mining much more difficult. Nor can the seismicity of Thassos be compared with the seismicity of Kefalonia. An earthquake of 4 to 6R (which happens quite often in our area) can cut off large, deep, drainage pipelines, resulting in an oil spill. In the accident at the BP pumping station in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, due to the high depth it was difficult to cope with the oil spill,87 days of effort and in the meantime about 5 million barrels of oil have been spilled into the sea! There is also the possibility that the mines themselves may cause minor earthquakes or, most importantly, accelerate the occurrence of large and devastating earthquakes in our area. In general, the great seismicity of Cephalonia does not allow such experiments, history has shown how devastating effects earthquakes can have on our lives.

Local authorities should see what is happening internationally. Petroleum exploration began in Basilicata, Italy in 1998. After 20 years of air pollution, the aquifer, crops, animals are dying and 160,000 residents have been forced to migrate. [2] International experience makes many countries today, such as Spain, France, Italy and others. reconsider hydrocarbon mining and stop it.

Local authorities should also bear in mind that oil is now considered an outdated source of energy. Elias Konofagos, a member of the Athens Academy’s Energy Committee, says oil will “go away in 20 – 30 years” (interview with CRETA NEWS on 20/6/2019). Why in Greece should we go through all the polluting sources of energy, lignite, oil, gas, until we come to an organized, rather than uncontrolled, use of renewable sources today? [3]

However, here in the east of Kefalonia and Ithaca (Patraikos – “P” plot) in early 2020, HLPE will start exploration drilling for oil. Further drilling is to follow throughout the Ionian Sea, turning our deep and earthquake-prone seas into a heavy industrial zone, with far-reaching consequences for the environment and the local economy, notably in tourism and fisheries.

The new authorities (MP, Regional Council and City Councils) are therefore required, after being informed by credible sources of the consequences of this ‘development’ project, and not only from sources close to the oil companies, to act accordingly, with awareness of their responsibility.

[1] http://tetartopress.gr/poios-xeplenei-ta-ellinika-petrelaia-stis-paralies-tis-kefalonias/?fbclid=IwAR0n2FFfVHaX3zYaQQV8pcf6iQXUGEtBuxpOxGqJSoR-qf8o8f-haXGr85s

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Azay2QIALQ

[3] http://archipelago.gr/telika-ti-epilegoume-gia-tin-ellada-galazia-mavri-anaptyxi/

Argostoli 26/10/2019

Travlou Helen
MSc in Physics

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