Spain lifts ban on fracking in Cantabria

Cantabria flag
Source: DollarPhotoClub

Spanish Constitutional Court overturned the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, introduced last year in the province of Cantabria, in the north of the country. The region is one of the most attractive areas for shale gas exploration in the Iberian Peninsula.

The Constitutional Court has thrown out a law introduced by the Cantabria region in April last year which banned hydraulic fracturing. According to the government in Madrid, the regional parliament had no right to take action on this matter. Yesterday the Constitutional Court sided with the government recognizing that regional authorities exceeded their powers.

The government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’a plans to begin shale gas exploration as soon as possible. The authorities in Madrid are hoping that shale exploration will secure the country’s energy independence, as well as boost the economy and create much-needed jobs.

According to a report published by Deloitte, the oil industry could create 250,000 jobs and constitute 4.3% of GDP by 2065. The report is based on an estimate of 2 billion barrels of oil and 2.5 billion cubic metres of gas. These are far more conservative estimates than the 50 trillion cubic feet (1.5 trillion cubic metres), researchers from University of Oviedo believe Spain has.

Deloitte predicts that Spain could become a gas exporter by 2031 while producing 20% of the oil it consumes.

Shale deposits extend to the northern areas of the Iberian Peninsula, from Galicia, through Cantabria, to the Basque Country.

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