Oil exploitation in Nosy Be

Sunset and oil in Madagascar

Before tackling the above question, a little reminder of the current facts for those unfamiliar by starting with an excerpt from the article from madagascar tribune of the 17/02/2014:

On January 14, 2014 the Offshore Magazine SiloBreaker.com website announced the launch by Exxon Mobil of a new seismic study on the Ampasindava block. Exxon had, it must be said, benefited from an extension decree of its 3 licenses signed on July 17 by Andry Rajoelina, authorizing it to resume its exploration activities on the Ampasindava, Majunga, Cap Saint-André permits. . And Sterling Energy, the petroleum operator holding the "Ambilobe" block, announced at the same time that it could, according to the results of the new seismic analyzes to be launched, plan the first exploration drilling in 2015/2016 on the "Ambilobe" block. adjoins the previous one. 3D acquisition programs to confirm the potential of the identified drilling sites.


Oil map nosy be and north madagascar

In the middle of these blocks and oil exploration block zone: Nosy Be, icon of our tourism Sea Sun & Sun, whose reputation as "Island of Perfumes" earned him to see his name diverted by a franchise perfumeries. But in the realm of the absurd, we have not seen everything. 100 kms south of Nosy be, there is one of the TWO ONLY Malagasy National Marine Parks, namely the Sahamalaza National Park. On the edge of this marine reserve: Ampasindava Block. And in the heart of this block Amasindava held by Exxon, the field SIFAKA reserves (oil this time) estimated at 1.2 billion barrels .... End extract.

Several months have passed and today exploration is planned not far from the coast of Nosy Be, the complete Artelia file is available herebut I make you a little summary that I allow myself to criticize / complete  : The Sterling operator plans to carry out a seismic study within the Ambilobe block, which covers an area of approximately 17,650 km², from the Ampasindava peninsula (southern limit) to Cape Saint Sebastian (northern limit), or less than 50km from the coast of Nosy Be (see map on page 3) by the end of 2014 for a duration of 2 to 6 weeks.

Seismic campaign, what is it?

seismic principle e oil
Source Image: http://tpepetrole09.free.fr/TPE/exploration.html

Seismic acquisition consists of sending acoustic waves (in the form of compressed air) to the seabed from sources of energy pulled behind a boat and recovering with the help of hydrophones towed behind the same boat are reflected on the different geological layers with sound frequencies used generally less than 128 Hz.

What you need to know about his campaigns:

 For this end of the year we will still have the humpback whales, the whale sharks as well as dolphins not to mention the usual flora and fauna. Our 3 friends above are find fat to sound waveshow do you think they will suffer this ?

Indeed studies done by IFAW and other environmental organizations have established a link between these intense noise nuisances and massive beaching events. Air cannons used by the oil industry pound enough to cover the cries of whales for thousands of miles and may prevent them from communicating and reproducing. Such noises can also cause them to abandon their habitat and stop foraging over long distances. If the animals are close to the seismic source, it can even cause hearing loss and irreversible hearing trauma. Sound waves travel five times faster and over much greater distances in the ocean than in the air, so that whales, dolphins and many other species, including fish species, have developed their hearing to increase their chances of breeding and surviving in this environment. Source

So we are going to live with strandings which already have them places in 2008 (At the time a group of independent experts demonstrated the possible link between the emission of underwater noise and the massive beaching of Electre dolphins on the island of Madagascar in 2008 In May and June 2008, about 100 stranded in the lagoon system of Loza, on the northwestern coast of Madagascar. Source - Source 2) and over the medium - long term it is also possible that they change their route and do not return to Nosy Be.

Source photo: http://www.tendua.org/1,001/newsletters,009/newsletter-no8,080.html?artpage=2-5

To prevent any impact on marine mammals, several measures are proposed by Artelia (detail page 26 of the file), very nice on paper but absolutely useless. Take the example of the visual monitoring from the boats and cut air guns if seen. Come on, a whale 30m under water will not be visible! And even at 5m, how much boat will it take for none to pass? With all the goodwill of the world it is humanly impossible. This point does not question the exploration of course but the period ! The humpback whales are present from July to November and whale sharks from Novembers to January, this leaves January to June for exploration, so a first reason to bring this together with changing that.

The main reefs near the Sterling Exploration Campaign RoW area are:

Oil exploitation map at Magascar
Folder map p.13

I wanted to list but the list is so long, in the end it is the whole archipelago of Nosy Be, from Iranja to Mitsio! In total, the study area includes about 80 small islands, corresponding to an area of land of more than 15,600 ha. The study area includes the following protected areas:

  • MPA of the Nosy Mitsio-Tsarabanjina Archipelago (project at 29km) ;-
  • Nosy Iranja MPA - Ankazoberavina - Bay of the Russias (48km from the project area) ;
  • AMP Nosy Hara.

On the other hand, the offshore Ambilobe block includes two potential sites for protected areas :

  • The Ambaro - Mitsio - Nosy Be complex (slight interference of the project area);
  • Cape Anorontany.

Of the 30 species of cetaceans listed in Malagasy waters, many are considered by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) as threatened or endangered species, and all are rigorously protected by Malagasy law. The presence of about 20 of these species is known or suspected in the study area.

What to say about this list and this map?

All the green part is possible, so the future is clear if we accept this first exploration / exploitation north. Can you imagine coming on vacation to Nosy Be, going to Tanikely Island, Sakatia or Iranja and having as background landscape an oil station? Personally it is not even possible, I go elsewhere!

The risks of exploitation in

This file does not mention it. This whole file only talks about the risks of prospecting but does not talk about the future risks of exploitation, so let's talk about it. For this I take the section of sololiya.fr which is more than complete:

Drilling waste are composed of fluids, cuttings and production water. A production platform can discharge approximately 60,000 m3 of drilling fluids and 15,000 m3 of drill cuttings after the average drilling of 50 exploratory fields.

Waste, impregnated with toxic products and hydrocarbons are often discharged at sea. This has consequences for the surrounding fauna, marine sediments and coastal ecosystems.

On the surrounding wildlife

Analysis showed an accumulation of hydrocarbons in the organs and tissues of fish and invertebrates in the areas where the industrialists reject the fluids. Because of their high toxicity, countries like Norway have laws on their use.

The rejects cause an increase in the turbidity of the seawater. This causes physical damage to the filtration and breathing organs of marine animals. In addition, cancers in fish and particularly in benthic organisms have been directly related to pollution from off-shore oil production facilities.

The presence of hydrocarbons in marine water promotes the appearance of new bacteria feeding on oil, modifying the initial biodiversity. A Norwegian study has recently shown that low-dose polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons cause the feminization of male fish. The direct consequence is the decrease of fertility.

On sediments

Pollutants which are released into the sea settle on marine sediments and thus modify the chemical compounds and physical characteristics. This can cause a decline in the number and diversity of species that live on and in these sediments. This phenomenon can be seen within a radius of two kilometers around the drilling area.

On coastal ecosystems

Coastal ecosystems are sensitive to the amount of oil and other waste coming from the oil platform, especially in the event of a spill.

Ecosystems the most sensitive are swamps, mangroves, mudflats, because they are sheltered areas. Thus, the contaminated particles accumulate in the soil and can remain there for ten years. This has the effect of delaying the rehabilitation of these ecosystems. On the other handin areas exposed and subject to strong waves, in deep water areas, pollutants are diluted more rapidly. However, hydrocarbon pollution of coastal ecosystems has the direct effect of reducing fishing effort. Indeed, their nursery function for fish species is considerably altered.

On the sea fishing

Drilling may limit fishing areas and decrease the fishing effort because the marine fauna moves away from the surveyed areas by several kilometers. 

Professionals This sector is not always consulted for the granting of research permits on the continental shelf, and they rarely receive compensation for the potential shortfall.

Tourism or oil, you have to choose

Oil exploitation

I think we agree that tourism will suffer from a tourist exploitation? But after all, tourism is one of many sectors, as well why not change sector and choose this one if it is more profitable than tourism? The question is natural and deserves further study!

None of us are seers, yet we can still compare with what happens elsewhere in the world, then, which countries exploit oil?

World production of pretrole
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_production_of_politics

Of these, we can not compare ourselves to Russia, Saudi Arabia, Norway, France, China who have a government as well as a solid and stable policy for the protection as the development of the country, we have to compare this which is comparable, so compare us to us neighbor ofSouth Africa.

The balance of all that? "Fifty years ago, the discovery of oil was a tremendous promise of wealth for Nigeria. We realize today that this could happen worse " source

Do you think Madagascar is not moving towards the same scheme? In this case, a case a little more concrete, theilmenite exploitation by QMM at Fort Dauphin. The main city has never benefited from this exploitation, it is another city that was built totally hermetic and the Malagasy people have never won anything, at least not as much as it could have. But rather than I speak, let the Malagasy speak of a strong dolphin. For that I invite you to watch:


Thus an oil exploitation in Madagascar in the current conditions will give me some things like this:

Exploration in November = beaching of whales, whale sharks and dolphins during the tourist season = negative communication on Nosy Be (again ...) = decline of tourism (more and more with exploitation in preparation), ie,

  • Hotels lose their clientele more and more with exploitation, they will remake their lives elsewhere.
  • Activity providers lose their clientelethe premises will be blocked and the expats will remake their lives elsewhere.
  • Dismissal of staff but no jobs with oil, requiring skilled employees it will be only expats.
  • Fishermen lose their buyersOil workers will not be enough to balance tourism.
  • Stores in all sectors lose buyersOil workers will not be enough to balance tourism.
  • The Malagasy Government loses the tourism currencies but earns oil taxes so is a winner.

So for those who say that we are defending our livelihood, it is also true, but not essential. It's a whole economy that will collapse without replacement. And this is not a possibility, but unfortunately what awaits us as we have seen in the higher comparisons. All this without forgetting the risk of black tide

And those who believe that 100 km away will preserve our jewels in the North West, such as the Lokobe Nature Reserve (Nosy Be) or the Marine National Park of Sahamalaza remembers the surfaces polluted by the Ixtoc disaster ( 600,000 tons of crude oil - 1979), Torrey Canyon (119,300 tons - 1967), Amoco Cadiz (228,000 tons - 1978), Exxon Valdez (with 40,000 tons -1989), the Eagle Otome (17 million liters of oil released - August 2009) ... In February 1980, the sinking of the Malagasy oil tanker Tanio, pours against the island of Bats in Britain its 17,000 tons of crude and defiles 200 kms of coast Brittany . Extract from Madagascar tribune.

To conclude this "analysis"

Whether it's tourism, oil, agriculture or anything, Madagascar has all the resources necessary to get out of it hands down, however you have to make a choice, tarnish it and do it according to the rules of the art. Personally, I am not against the exploitation of oil, I am against exploitation as it is being prepared. So the first official exploration must take place by the end of the year, not to mention our friends whale sharks, whales and dolphins who will suffer the sound waves, if we leave healthy say nothing 'tourism economy in Nosy Be will undergo a new crisis and risk an untimely death in the years to come without any new economy in replacement!

What to do ?

Get together to talk about one way, not between residents but also and especially with the Malagasy! A collective is already in court gathering more than 1500 signatures of which 80% are Malagasy, for the majority fishermendivers and people living tourism but also CNRO specialists, the Representative of Natives of Nosy be as well as the President of Environmental Protection.

I think we're pretty much in the same situation as Uganda, (read the articles below), maybe we should get in touch with them or at least get inspired by them?

"Interference" shouts some

We (I) have been living in Madagascar for several years and left to stay there for a long time, so we are concerned and have the right (the duty?) To get involved. However it is not our country, so we do not have (and can not) make the final decision, it is to the Malagasy people that this right comes back, so we have a role of information, to us to give all the necessary information so that the Malagasy people take this decision without biting their fingers later, what this collective does because of the 1,500 signatures it is about 80% of Malagasy signatures !

And you what do you think ? For or against an oil exploitation in Nosy Be?

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Mada reste une destination méconnue et que ce soit au niveau des visas, des vols, des hébergements il est parfois difficile de trouver l’information voulue. C’est la que Live Madagascar entre en jeux

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