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Home » Osservatorio Media, Petrolio, Watch - 12 novembre 2012

Rose e fiori da Corleto Perticara, con “The Guardian” !

Abbiamo letto sul The Guardian, giornale britannico on line, un articolo sul progetto Tempa Rossa a Corleto Perticara a firma di Mr Hooper. Lei, Mr Hooper, deve essere rimasto affascinato dal panorama, dalla vista che si gode dalla terrazza del municipio di Corleto Perticara. Anche noi, che qui viviamo, apprezziamo ed amiamo questo paesaggio. Lei lo paragona al paesaggio della Toscana.  Beautiful Basilicata !.  Ci perdoni, Mr Hooper ! Lei ha perso però una occasione per descrivere qualcosa di reale, oltre il pittoresco paesaggio che l’ha impressionato. Non ha visto, forse non ha voluto vedere più a fondo oltre la superficie oleografica e pittoresca. Ha preferito scrivere il suo articolo riportando le voci ufficiali che presentano la Basilicata come il Texas d’Italia.  La voce di Mrs Vicino, sindaco di Corleto Perticara, nonchè  Assessore all’Edilizia Scolastica e Pubblica Istruzione della Provincia di Potenza, ripete da sempre il ritornello dello sviluppo petrolifero come unica occasione di riscatto. Mrs Vicino continua a far finta di credere nello sviluppo petrolifero e non vuole vedere cosa accade a pochi chilometri dal comune che amministra da sindaco, a Viggiano, dove il petrolio, dopo 15 anni, non ha creato nè occupazione nè ricchezza, ma solo disoccupazione e inquinamento, nonostante le royalties.

Nel suo articolo accenna ma non approfondisce la cosiddetta “moratoria petrolifera bluff”, fatta approvare dal Consiglio Regionale della Basilicata dal presidente della Regione Basilicata, Vito De Filippo. Non ha voluto ascoltare le testimonianze di chi abita a poca distanza dal pozzo petrolifero Gorgoglione 2, che la Total sta perforando e da dove fuoriescono gas mortali e velenosi, come l’ H2s. Non ha chiesto alla Total, ad esempio, se è vero che il progetto prevede che le acque acque di strato provenienti dai pozzi di petrolio e quelle oleose del costruendo centro olio di Corleto Perticara, debbano essere riversate nel torrente Sauro. Avrebbe potuto approfondire le questioni dei fanghi petroliferi seppelliti illegalmente sotto i campi dove i contadini hanno coltivato il grano, che ancora aspettano di essere bonificati. Chiedere infine, perchè a Corleto Perticara si ci ammala più che in qualsiasi altra area urbana ed industriale d’Italia, pur essendo un’area agricola.

Avrebbe potuto, se avesse voluto, approndire tutto questo ed altro ancora, far comprendere ai suoi lettori connazionali le problematiche che vivono in Basilicata gli abitanti, alle prese con il petrolio.

Non sappiamo se dobbiamo considerarla l’ennesimo viaggiatore straniero, più meno distratto oppure uno dei tanti cronisti disinteressati a comprendere realmente in profondità le questioni del petrolio in Basilicata. Auspichiamo, semmai dovesse nuovamente interessarsi di queste questioni, che possa contribuire alla comprensione di aspetti solo accennati nel suo articolo troppo frettoloso.

Thank you, Mr Hooper.

OLA – Organizzazione Lucana Ambientalista

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Di seguito l’articolo de’ The Guardian del 4/11/2012 in lingua inglese:

Italy looks to boost crude oil production by 150% in energy policy shakeup
Controversy over onshore wells in beautiful Basilicata region symbolic of difficult drive for greater energy self-sufficiency
John Hooper in Corleto Perticara, Italy
The Guardian, Sunday 4 November 2012 14.46 GMT

The view from the terrace behind the town hall in Corleto Perticara is as grand as any in Tuscany, taking in the majestic Sauro river valley and a line of towering hills that shepherd the river out to sea. But where a visitor might dream of building an idyllic second home, Rosaria Vicino, the town’s mayor, is picturing the line of well-head pumpjacks that will soon pepper the undulating slopes beyond the Sauro.

In May, Mario Monti’s non-party government in Rome gave the go-ahead for the development of the so-called Tempa Rossa field, whose 200m barrels of heavy, sulphurous petroleum lie within Vicino’s comune (borough). The French company Total has a 75% stake in Tempa Rossa. Shell has the remaining 25% interest in a field whose production capacity is expected to reach 50,000 barrels a day (b/d).

“Oil is central to our development plans,” said Vicino fervently. “It is the element around which all our hopes revolve.”

Onshore oil and gas production is similarly central to the Italian government’s ambitious plan to lop €14bn (£11.2bn) off the nation’s annual €62bn bill for energy imports by 2020. The target is set in a proposed national energy plan that would be the first to be adopted in Italy for more than 20 years.

A draft, put out for consultation last month, sees some of the savings coming from increases in “green” (renewable) sources and “white” (efficiency) economies. But it also envisages a doubling of domestic oil and gas production. The government estimates the increase in output could provide Italy with 7% of its total energy requirements and create 25,000 new jobs.

Crude oil production in Italy peaked in 2005 at 115,000 b/d, and has since slumped below 100,000 b/d – not due to a lack of reserves (Italy’s proven onshore deposits are the biggest in Europe), but because of a drastic fall in exploration and development, which the government is keen to reverse.

It aims to boost crude oil production by almost 150%, and bringing the Tempa Rossa field on stream will take it about a third of the way to that goal. Even considering the beauty of the countryside around Corleto Perticara, Tempa Rossa is unlikely to stir much opposition locally.

Mention of royalties brings an ear-to-ear smile to the face of mayor Vicino, who readily agrees that the 30 or 40 years of income will transform the fortunes of little Corleto Perticara and its 2,700 inhabitants. The cash should be ample recompense for the pumpjacks – often known as “nodding donkeys” – and a large, smelly oil-processing centre that Total plans to build beyond the hills, out of sight of the town.

The scenic but remote region of Basilicata in which Corleto Perticara is situated, is often called Italy’s Texas. It holds about three quarters of the country’s total reserves. But not everyone is as enthusiastic about pumping them out as Mayor Vicino. Many in Basilicata resent the fact that the royalties from oil production go largely to the local authorities directly affected and make little impact on a region that, despite its black gold, is still Italy’s fifth poorest.

Basilicata’s communications are dire. Unemployment is high and rising. In January, Monti’s government slipped a clause into a bill ostensibly about liberalisation that allows future oil royalties to be used for regional infrastructure projects. A senior government official acknowledged it was designed specifically to assuage criticism in Basilicata. So far, it has not worked.

In August, the regional assembly declared a moratorium on all further exploration and production in Basilicata. The next day, the governor, Vito De Filippo of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), declared that the petroleum concessions that had already been granted were “at the limits of sustainability”. His opinion matters because, as the law in Italy stands, approval from his government is essential for future projects to go ahead.

It has not helped that Tempa Rossa is mired in a scandal that is set to unfold as the field is developed. On 26 September, four former executives of Total’s Italian subsidiary, including its former managing director, went on trial in the regional capital of Potenza accused of rigging the tender for the oil treatment centre so that the contract went to a consortium headed by a local builder. The builder was in turn accused of paying a €200,000 bribe to a PD deputy in the national parliament.

Total’s former employees are also charged with using a local official to get landowners in the area to take lower-than-market offers for land needed to develop the oil field. All the accused deny wrongdoing.

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