For the survival of life on this earth, three most basic things are required- food, clothing and shelter. Agriculture helps to meet this basic requirement of human and their civilization by providing food. Hence, agriculture is the most important enterprise in the world. It is a valuable gift of nature providing a fresh environment. Such a splendid occupation has now being exploited by one major issue at Neduvasal and Kathiramangalam. Yeah, it is none other “The Hydrocarbon Project”. Here is an article inscribed by me that helps you know more about this issue.
First before moving to the problem, let us know what is hydrocarbon project?
The hydrocarbon project is overseen by the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons and was initiated on May 2016. From the total of 34 contract areas, 31 contract areas were finalised upon for the project by December 2016. Neduvasal in TN and Karaikal in Puducherry were two sites in southern part of India among the 31.
Why do we need hydrocarbon?
As we are in the 21st century, humans started to use the resources widely. So it is sure that we will run off without the resources soon. To make the resources available for the present and future generation, we need hydrocarbon as an alternative to meet this need. Without hydrocarbon we would have no oil which is humans biggest fuel source. India will probably not be able to leave their dependence on coal and fossil fuels.
But you may think why they specifically insist on Hydrocarbon though many carbon derivatives are present. Hydrocarbon can be used both as a fuel and oil. So if we are running out of Petrol or diesel, we can use this hydrocarbon as a fuel to run vehicles.
A question arises, why they particularly choose Neduvasal?
Neduvassal village in Pudukottai district, situated near the border of Thanjavur district has rich soil source, suitable for various productive farming practices. Actually, Neduvasal is locked with hydrocarbon volume of 40 MMT oil and 22.0 BCM of gas in an area of about 10.1 sq km and that is why they chose this area.
Benefit for the Government and the oil companies:
The primary objective of the Government is to reduce the import of oil and petroleum to other foreign countries by 10% by 2022. The Government of India has calculated that the production of hydrocarbon from Neduvasal would be around 15,000 Barrels of oil per day that could generate Rs. 40 crore as royalty to the Tamilnadu.
Technology used in Hydrocarbon project:
Hydraulic fracturing process:
This process employs the injection of high pressure fracturing fluid into the sedimentary rocks which crack the rocks. Now it is important to know what is this high pressure fluid is made of? It is made of water, sand and a massive amount of chemicals. But it is a wonder that the quantity of water used for this process is 5 lakh litres of water.
Risks involved in this process:
If this much amount of water is used, the volume of chemicals and the additives added could be more than 40,000 litres. Since the farming done here is in the delta region and are a part of Cauvery assets, if the wells are drained, they could suffer from the lack of water. The chemicals used are high likely to be carcinogenic.
There are certain wastes which when can’t be treated, are dumped somewhere. These radioactive wastes can affect humans, cattle and any living thing when it is not buried. The radioactive wastes and the chemicals used for fracturing are often left in the ground.
The waste fluid isolated releases dangerous volatile organic compound into the atmosphere and leads to acid rain, ozone formation and so on. These contaminants include hydrogen sulphide which leads to asthma, headaches, high blood pressure, anaemia, heart attacks and cancer.
Possible earth quakes:
The process of fracturing the rocks could lead to minor earth quake measuring 2.0 under the Richter scale.
Here let me give a statistics:
NO. OF EARTHQUAKES
RICHTER SCALE MEASUREMENT
|1.||Etsho, Canada||2009 and 2011||216||4.2|
Hazardous Hydrocarbon Project:
Many people says that this hydrocarbon project is useful and they are also trying to prove how it benefits the humans. But the real fact is here. Let me know explain why this project is hazardous.
Generally, benzene, methane, paraffin are commonly named as Hydrocarbon. The source of hydrocarbon is natural gas, petroleum and coal. When they extract hydrocarbon, they produce 95% methane gas. It will lead to soil corrosion and it destroys the lands of agriculture.
We can get methane from waste. In India, tonnes & tonnes of solid waste (domestic and industrial)are produced. So that we can implement Waste to Energy method in India.
1 ton of waste can produce 40 kg of methane.
Chennai solid waste – 4500 ton
Across India solid waste – 1 lakh ton
Across 200 municipal corporations solid waste – 1 lakh tons
It will reduce garbage waste pollution as well as the by- product is Biodegradable in our country. From this method we can produce 15 lakh ton methane/year. Whereas this HydroCarbon project can produce merely 10 lakh ton methane/year.
How waste-to-energy works?
A waste-to-energy – or energy-from-waste – plant converts municipal and industrial solid waste into electricity. It is a cost-effective method of producing energy. This process works by burning waste at high temperatures and the released heat is used to make steam. The steam then drives a turbine that creates electricity. This method is 99% thermal efficiency and ultra-low emissions (95-99%).
Allaying fears on methane being a dangerous gas, the government said this gas was being used as household fuel globally. The piece of land in Neduvasal contains only crude oil. The ONGC has announced that they will be using these lands only for the extraction of Hydrocarbon. But it is found that the project also involves extraction of methane and shale gas.
We must pillage any opportunity, however small, to make sure we can generate power from our own soil without any over-dependence on outside states. Oil and gas extraction is for the energy needs. But to meet these demands, the risk factors should be eliminated. A dense country like India can’t afford to inject a generation with diseases and malnutrition. It is the time for our country to switch to energy sources like solar and waste-to-energy treatment.
If you really want prosperity for Tamil Nadu, then we have to support this alternate project and assure the farmers that they can be used as pawns in a greater political game.