Exploratory fracking in Arquetu, Cantabria, Spain


In Cantabria there are applications to explore fracking possibilities since 2008.

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Basic Data
NameExploratory fracking in Arquetu, Cantabria, Spain
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Shale gas fracking
Specific CommoditiesShale-Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project Detailsmore than €134,331 invested.
Project Area (in hectares)24786
Level of Investment (in USD)17935553
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2011
Company Names or State EnterprisesTrofagas Hidrocarburos, S.L from Spain - which is a subsidiady of BNK Petroleum Inc. BNK Petroleum Inc. (U.S.)
Relevant government actorsCantabrian regional governement, Spanish government
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersAsamblea contra la Fractura Hidráulica de Cantabria: which is a plattform where many groups converge (Asamblea 15M Cabezón de la Sal, Agitación Rural, Asamblea 15M Torrelavega, Asamblea 15M Santander, Ecologistas en acción, ARCA, Democracia Real Ya, Regüelta and Asamblea contra el TAV)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (failure for environmental justice)
New legislation
Project cancelled
Development of Alternativesban fracking
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.On April 2013, stemming from a widespread opposition in the whole region, the Cantabrian goverment banned fracking. On february 2014, the cantabrian government cancelled the permits to frack in Arquetu and declares the fracking initiative that was intended to be performed there as 'illegal'.

However, on 24 June 2014, despite the widespread opposition, The Spanish Constitutional Court cancelled the Cantabrian fracking ban.
Sources and Materials

Ley 34/1998, de 7 de Octubre, del Sector de Hidrocarburos de España:
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website from asamblea contra la fractura hidráulica en Cantabria:
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newspaper article: Sevillano, E. (08/04/2013). Cantabria aprueba por unanimidad la ley que veta la polémica técnica del ‘fracking’. El Pais:
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newspaper article: Viudez, J. (11/03/2013). España cuenta con recursos de gas no convencional para 39 años de consumo. El Pais:
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flyer on fracking:
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newspaper article: Manrique, P. (30/10/2013). Conflicto de competencias para dar vía libre al fracking. Diagonal:
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorAmaranta Herrero
Last update25/08/2016
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