Adriatic Oil Drilling... a literal time bomb

January 19th 2015

The period for public comment on the Strategic Environmental Assessment regarding the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Adriatic sea was announced on the website of the Agency for Hydrocarbons on January 16th, with this comforting title:

Platforms should not be seen from the beaches, resorts and tourist zones

With such a limited scope of concern, it is frightening that these are the individuals responsible for the future of Croatia and its resources.

However, it appears that latest post by Barbara Doric on azu.hr was taken down earlier today. Perhaps it was after a scathing article by the Markarska post detailing the environmental record of the chosen contractors. The article points out that ENI has a horrible record of spills in Nigeria, while OMV has had some oil ‘get away’ in New Zealand.

To make this whole issue even more terrifying, a recent report by the Italian group Coordinamento Nazionale No Triv raises the issue of hundreds and thousands of unexploded ordinances laying on the bottom of the seafloor. From the map in the image above, you can see the explosives spread into Block 26, which was awarded to INA in the initial bidding round.

According to the Italian environment group, the existence of explosives in the Adriatic sea has not even been considered for any type of risk assessment.

Imagine what would happen if even one bomb will accidentally be crossed by a drill, or by the action of a powerful Air-gun. Unfortunately we are not talking about a single bomb, but rather thousands [of] bombs, scattered across the Adriatic Sea.

Or perhaps, since we can’t see them there is no risk.

In addition to poor safety records and unexploded bombs (in case that’s not enough), there are numerous other environmental concerns that are being overlooked or blatently ignored by the Croatian government its rush to cash in on the limited reserves in the Adriatic sea.

You can have your say on this topic by responding during the open comment period, from 16-January to 16-February.

Here are some download links to the comment form and the environmental assessment documents.

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