Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tesla Motors building new manufacturing site in Lathrop, CA, for manufacturing expansion at low wages

Tesla Motors is apparently setting up a small manufacturing facility, in California, that has little or nothing to do with the Gigafactory.  The latter facility is meant to double the worlds production of lithium-ion batteries, requiring over 10 million square feet, a rail line, and space for a big solar panel array.  Instead, the new facility will be in Lathrop CA, and have 431,000 square feet of space, that could expand by another 125,000 square feet.

The news was reported today by the Manteca Bulletin, the local newspaper for Lathrop.  The facility was originally owned by Mopar, Chryslers parts division, and was originally built in 2001 when Daimler owned Chrysler.  Their purpose for the building was parts warehousing and distribution.  However, plans never went to fruition because Chrysler and Daimler parted ways.

Tesla has already arranged for permits and begun renovations.

Going by jobs listing on Tesla's website, this facility will house a bunch of CNC machines.  The jobs include CNC operators, CNC supervisors, training, and robotic machine operators.  Clearly this facility will be a small scale manufacturing center for Tesla. 

The company has plenty of space going unused at the former-NUMMI plant in Fremont.  Well, I assume that's the case, I haven't been inside to see for myself.  However, when that factory was owned by Toyota/GM, it had a 450,000 car/year production capacity.  Tesla is manufacturing a fraction of that amount, today.  It's a fair assumption, then, that the factory has lots of empty space in it.

Tesla is continuing to ramp up production because they're expanding Tesla Model S sales in Europe and China, while maintaining a sales rate in the U.S. of 20,000+ cars per year.  That means Tesla Model S production must go above 40,000 cars per year, plus the Tesla Model X is due to begin small scale production at the end of this year and ramp up to full production during 2015.

Hence, Tesla must ramp up parts production and therefore must install new CNC machines somewhere, and hire operators for those machines.  The question would be - where?  And what does the choice of Lathrop tell us?

Basically - that Tesla wants to expand manufacturing to areas where wages can be lower.  Lathrop is in the Central Valley, where high unemployment will mean lower wages.  It's less than an hours drive from Lathrop to Fremont, making it quite possible to build parts in Lathrop for assembly in Fremont.

The facility is at 18260 Harlan Road, Lathrop, CA.  I stumbled across the brochure from the real estate broker listing the attributes of the facility.

A pretty normal commercial building, set among other commercial buildings.  It's right next to the intersection of I-5 and Hwy-120, and Hwy-99 is close by.  The optional expansion area is the grassy spot to the rear of the building.

Plenty of power, etc.  The large flat roof should make for a big solar panel array by Solar City, don't you think?

This is the vicinity.  Another possible advantage are those rail lines, because the Fremont facility is also next to rail lines.  Is there an option of shipping parts from Lathrop to Fremont using rail?

Here's the jobs list.

Monday, April 21, 2014

What the Frack meeting leaves me wondering Where's the Rage against Fracking?

Where is the rage in America over fracking?  In some countries anti-fracking protests have gained widespread attention, and there are even protest encampments lasting for months at a time.  Is anything like that happening in the U.S.?  If the Sierra Club-sponsored meeting I attended this evening is any sign, Americans are asleep.  Maybe we're too addled by NCAA basketball tournaments or celebrities in the hospital with heart conditions?

This evening the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club held what should have been an important public education meeting about Fracking.  They brought Michael Thornton, a senior organizer in the California Sierra Club, for an educational lecture on hydraulic fracturing and especially the risks to California.  Every Californian should be alarmed by Fracking because of the tendency to induce earthquakes.

California Gov. Jerry Brown is someone you'd expect to be against Fracking.  During his first go-around as California Governor, 30+ years ago, he pushed for and enacted many environmental measures.  His current tenure as Governor has seen many more environmental gains, and he likes to paint himself as a Climate Leader.  Thornton had worked as News Director of a Radio Station during Browns previous tenure, and said the Governor is not the same man today as he was back in the day.

Gov. Brown is a big supporter of Fracking.  But, as Thornton put it, "Climate Leaders Don't Frack."

Thornton gave us a great overview of hydraulic fracturing, acid fracturing, and its negative environmental effects.  The focus was on California, the fracking already occurring here, and the plans for expanding fracking in California.  The meeting hoped to inspire the audience to take action.  The primary suggestion was raising pressure on State Sen. Jerry Hill to switch his vote on SB1132.  That bill that would extend the study requirements enacted last year in SB4.

California is moving forward with approving fracking operations despite various unfulfilled requirements, such as an environmental impact report.  EIR's absolutely required before major undertakings.  Isn't cracking the bedrock a major undertaking?

The target of frackers in California is the Monterey Shale.  That large formation is thought to contain 15 billion barrels of oil reserves.  That's a large resource that would add significantly to America's oil reserves.  But, it requires fracking.  Because of California's highly convoluted underground geology, it will require acid fracking.  This technique MELTS the rock, not just breaking it with fractures, in order to release the fossil fuels.

Thornton talked at length about toxic chemicals released during and after fracking operations.  Fracking uses a highly toxic mixture of chemicals whose constituents are not disclosed to either the public or the government, because of trade secret.  It's known that fracking releases dozens of highly toxic chemicals and carcinogens - Crystalline Silica, Methanol, Hydrochloric Acid, Hydroflouric Acid, Ethyl Glycol, and others.

Another effect he discussed is the boom towns that spring up in areas where fracking is occurring.  There is plenty of work building, operating and maintaining the drilling equipment, as long as the fossil fuels last.  Most of the workers are young men, who move in from outside the area.  They bring along problems like drinking, drugs, prostitution, higher frequency of emergency room visits.  Low quality housing is built, but at a high rental fee, driving up the cost of living.

Very little of the money sticks with the local economy.  The companies are very efficient at siphoning all the value back to corporate headquarters.

Then as soon as the fossil fuels run out, the companies pull out.  What's left behind is a pile of problems. The now-empty housing won't find tenants.  The wells might get capped, and it's known some or all will be leaking toxic stuff into the ground.

California saw this story before - the Gold Rush Era.  While the Gold lasted, there was lots of money floating around.  When the Gold ran out, the boom ended, the miners skedaddled, leaving behind a huge toxic problem that's still being cleaned up today.  Gold mining uses cyanide and mercury, and causes great environmental harm.

Why did I ask "where's the rage" and whether Americans are asleep?  This meeting, with all this great information, was very sparsely attended.  Maybe 15 people were in the audience, half of whom had helped organize the event.

Where's the rage?  Where's the American equivalent to the anti-fracking protests I've been covering in Romania?

The Loma Prieta chapter of the Sierra Club has put together an information page with lots of resources.  That site also links to http://www.frackfreecali.org/ which has even more information.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Is California in the running for Tesla's Gigafactory after all? States competing w/ government subsidies

Supposedly California is out of the running for the Tesla Gigafactory, but according to a Sacramento Bee article the state is working to get Tesla Motors to change their mind.  Most of the article is spent on government subsidies trying to paint Elon Musk as being a Billionaire solely because of government subsidies.  Oh, and therefore, Musk's Tesla Motors somehow owes it to California to build the Gigafactory in California, because the state has done so much to help Tesla as a company and Musk personally.

Did Elon Musk become a billionaire because of government subsidies?  Nope.  That was bestowed upon him when he sold Paypal to eBay.  Paypal's success did not come at the hands of government subsidies, but instead by running a very solidly designed and useful business.  A business that is a model of usefulness, and which eBay has managed to nurture as an operation that's extremely useful for all kinds of business, not just as a payments processing operation for eBay.

Microsoft could learn a thing or two about being the steward of a broadly useful company, while incorporating that company's service into their own.  i'm thinking of Skype and how Microsoft is beginning to ruin Skype by essentially forcing Skype users to sign up for Microsoft accounts.  But this is a digression so let's get back to Tesla and the Gigafactory.

The SacBee article has a useful list of trivia about subsidies Tesla has received from California in particular.  A third of Tesla's sales in 2013 were in California, meaning a big pile of the California ZEV rebates went to Tesla Model S owners.  And there's the matter of factory upgrades at Tesla's plant in Fremont, sales tax breaks on manufacturing equipment purchases, and more.  That's a big pile of subsidies.

Supposedly, according to the SacBee columnist, this somehow entitles California to expect the Gigafactory will be built here rather than Arizona/Nevada/New Mexico/Texas.

Therefore, Sen. Diane Feinstein talked with Elon Musk, and Gov. Brown's GO-Biz team is also talking with the company.  Reading between the lines, Tesla may be playing the states off against each other to see which will offer the most lucrative deal.  If true, this is typical Business As Usual, because business owners routinely horse trade factory locations for government subsidy packages.

Initially, Tesla Motors said that California wasn't in the running because the cost of doing business here is too high.  That may be, it's certainly very expensive to live in the SF Bay Area.  But cost of living is cheaper in the Central Valley, and as the SacBee article points out there's a high unemployment rate there.  The Drought is going to hit California's agriculture sector hard this year, I'd imagine.

Tesla Motors is under the gun to get this Gigafactory under construction as soon as possible.  The gigafactory is required for for mass volume manufacturing of the "Model E" (or whatever they end up naming the 3rd generation car), because of the sheer volume of batteries that'll be required.  The factory doesn't exist yet, and has to be built and functioning in less than two years, to meet deadlines required to get that car into production by 2017.  Tesla's timeline was they want to select the location essentially NOW, and start construction in a couple months.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Our work choice either harms or helps our world, either dooming us or leading us out of climate catastrophe

How can anyone whose job creates lots of problems in the world live with themselves?  The problems created by some jobs are obvious.  For example gasoline station attendants are enablers to all the ills that come from burning gasoline.  The job of an "insect/pest control" workers is spraying poison in buildings, sometimes where children play.  Doing these jobs directly worsens the environment.   In some jobs, the negative side effects aren't so obvious, such as software engineering (my career).  What if everyone chose work that solves that solves the problems society faces, rather than continue working on tasks that create more problems for society?

Wait, you're saying, software engineering is clean work, why is it a problem?  The biggest risk for typical software engineers (and writers) is obesity from sitting too much.  But what is the effect of that work?  A lot depends on the end goal of the software written by a development team.  The ends don't always justify the means.  There's an endemic problem in software engineering:  Lack of connection to the customer.  There is a huge gulf of separation between the coder (software engineer), the customer, and the side effects of that work.

This separation between the person and their effect on the world is endemic all across modern society.  It's like thinking water comes from the faucet (rather than rivers), or water/gasoline/etc are inexhaustible, or there's no environmental side effect to turning on a light bulb, or that corn and peas comes in plastic bags in the frozen food section of the grocery store.  When we chow down on a burger at In-and-Out Burgers, do we think about the suffering of the cow from which that meat came?  When driving, do we think of the oil spills, ruined landscapes, and toxic chemicals, that go into creating the simple pleasure of driving a car at 80 miles/hr on a modern highway?  It's not just that "we" are asleep about the side effects of our lives, it's that the powers-that-be purposely construct our environment to erase awareness of the side effects.

A few years ago, when I still worked full time in software engineering, examining my consciousness unearthed the conclusion that I couldn't do that work any longer.   I wanted to pursue work that feeds a responsible lifestyle, where I don't feel I'm compromising, and is a real contribution to improving the world.   At that time I was just beginning to connect the dots between my work, and the potential to improve our world or harm it.  In early 2009 Sun Microsystems jettisoned me and thousands others because of the financial crisis thew the company into deep crisis.  That gave me the opportunity to explore the blogging and online journalism work that I've pursued since then.

My software engineering work made me party to some important points in Internet History.  Including the creation of the MIME protocol that gifted us with multimedia e-mail, the creation of the online streaming video industry in 1997, the rise of Java as a top programming language, the open source Java platform (OpenJDK), and the rise of Node.js.   My profiles on LinkedIn and oDesk will give you an idea of that history.

What was it about software engineering that I couldn't do any longer?  It wasn't the immediate environment of the job.  As I said the workplace for software engineers is very clean and the immediate output of our work is just bits in a computer.  The environmental cost of running those computers is a big question mark.  Is the electricity consumption and consequent environmental cost worth the benefit these machines supposedly give us?  But there are bigger environmental worries that threaten our whole society.  Ones which threaten the very survival of our society.

These huge problems in the world are what I talk about on this blog - climate change, environmental degradation, financial stresses on modern society, depletion of natural resources, and more.  Some of us are highly alarmed about the effects of these issues, and rightly worry that modern society will simply collapse due to these problems.  For example, it looks like climate change spiraling out of control as well as environmental degradation is causing a huge die-off of animals in the oceans, erasing hundreds of millions of years of evolutionary development, and threatening world food supplies with mass starvation.

I couldn't sit by watching that happen without lifting a finger to help create solutions.  That led to several years covering the electric vehicle field, writing news articles, and along the way learning the ropes of being a Journalist.  This work led to writing news articles on PlugInCars.com.  Then I started work for Recargo, the owner of PlugInCars.com, as a Software Engineer  redesigning the PlugInCars website.  After several years writing news articles, I'm back working in software engineering, but with a purpose fitting my goal of creating positive change in the world.  I'm contributing to the electric vehicle industry by making PlugInCars even more attractive and useful a resource on electric vehicles.  This should help spawn more interest in these cars, and help push modern society to driving clean cars.

I am writing this today not to create the illusion that I'm anyone special.  But it's to explore thoughts about how ones job - ones work in the world - can help solve problems, or create more problems.

Business As Usual - that is, the conduct of Business as it is Commonly Practiced - is what created the problems we face in this world.

Solving those problems means switching from Business As Usual to a more responsible work/business/government/religion structure.  But before we can even begin developing the solutions, "we" collectively have to become aware of the problem.  Are we addicted to Business As Usual?  Maybe we should take the first step preached by Alcoholics Anonymous, recognize that we're addicted?  After that we can begin taking the second step, recognize the effects of our addiction and begin to address the problems our addiction causes.

Those of us with regular jobs, we do what the boss says.  There's a dictatorial element where the boss has the power to essentially force workers to do their task, no matter what the side effect of that task is.  The people whose job is destroying mountains for "mountain top removal," to get at the coal under the mountain, are forced to do that work - under the threat of being fired.  Yet the work causes extreme harm to the mountains where this is practiced.

Why do I say "dictatorial"?  The boss has leverage over their workers, by threatening their workers livelihood through firings or layoffs.  Worker dare not question the work their doing, because they could lose their jobs.  Workers dare not talk with the Press, they might expose company secrets, even if those secrets are the toxic whatever perpetrated by the company.

Companies free reign to stifle dissent is close to, if not identical to, dictatorial powers practiced by some governments.  Do we really we live in a Free Society, a Democracy?  If we cannot raise objections, or expose egregious stuff done by our employer, where is Freedom?  Or is it just old fashioned Serfdom with a pretty face on it?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Romania may have no choice but fracking, says Romanian oil industry think tank

Romania may not have any choice but to allow hydraulic fracturing (fracturare hidraulice), according to a report by the Romania Energy Center.  We've been studying Romania's situation over natural gas, and proposals to frack that country's shale deposits, as a way of learning about the overall story of fracking.

The papers I've read this evening were delivered by the ROEC to various conferences over the last two years.  The ROEC is an english language think tank focusing on oil, natural gas, and "energy" policy in Romania.  As an industry think tank we can expect their work to be biased towards the oil and gas industry.  However, some of what they're reporting does paint a dire picture for Romania's future unless some big change is made in that country's energy resources.

I'd rather see Romania embrace renewable energy resources, but the tried-and-true for over a hundred years of modern economic development has been fossil fuels.

Romania is way past its peak of oil production, and domestic oil and gas production is declining at a 10% per year rate.  It's expected the country will simply run out of oil and gas to produce, via conventional methods, in 10-15 years.

Consider that it takes a LOOOOONG time, many YEARS, to start producing in new oil or gas fields.  That means to avoid the looming problem, if their solution is more oil and gas then they'd better start drilling now.

If Romania doesn't come up with a seriously big solution for new energy resources, they'll become dependent on Russia.  That's the last thing Romania wants is to fall back under the dominance of Russia.  It's not just the Romanians that fear dependency on Russia, most of Europe does.  It's expected that if (when) Russia's natural gas is the primary supply to Europe, that Russia will be able to extract huge economic dividends, and that Russia is salivating over those prospects.

Romania has identified three new sources of domestic oil and gas production.
  • Enhanced recovery techniques in existing fields.
  • Unconventional resources (fracking), which we've been covering a lot in recent posts.  As we see in this slide, the ROEC can't predict the outcome.
  • Off-shore deep-water resources in the Black Sea.
Those slides came from ROEC's presentation in September 2013 at the Balkans Oil and Gas Conference in Athens.

It's also possible for Romania to secure an external source of natural gas and oil other than Russia.  The country has been working hard on this, and pinned a lot of hope on the "Southern Gas Corridor" project.  I'd written a fair amount about the Southern Gas Corridor project in an earlier post.  The gist is that there's plenty of natural gas deposits in Central Asia that aren't under Russia's control - today - because these various countries managed to escape from the U.S.S.R. when that country disintegrated.  The Southern Gas Corridor aims to build a natural gas pipeline from the Caucasus, through Turkey, and into Europe.  This would let Europe switch their dependency on Russian natural gas for Central Asian natural gas.
A strategy decision in the Summer of 2013 concerning the Southern Gas Corridor went in a direction that does not help Europe.  "Nabucco" is the version of that project which would have supplied large quantities of natural gas to Europe.  Instead a different plan was chosen, and because Romania had pinned their hopes on Nabucco the country is left scrambling for a replacement natural gas source.

Another possible resource is this new oil and gas discovery in the Mediterranean.   This is years away from being exploited.

Those slides came from ROEC's November 19, 2013 presentation at the Romania Oil And Gas Conference, 2013.

The picture painted by these two presentations from ROEC is that in a few years Romania is going to face a big economic problem.  Dwindling domestic oil and gas is going to force the country to increase imports, but that will put a drain on Romania's economy, which is already weak.

As for the prospects of shale gas (fracking) as the solution, ROEC had this to say:

NAMR is Romania's bureau of natural resources.
My vantage point is thousands of miles away, but having read dozens of Romanian news reports on this, this assessment seems apt.  However, I don't know that the public is being manipulated with misinformation.  The anti-fracking writings I see in Romania seem to be well informed of the risks.  The people involved are strongly convinced they do not want fracking to take hold in Romania.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

German automakers complain over non-standardized Tesla Supercharger, but where are the CCS cars?

It would be wonderful if there were one fast charging standard for electric cars.  We've collectively gone through periods with dueling standards, and it was painful.  But, the current environment has several fast charging standards (CHAdeMO, China, Combined Charging System, and Tesla) each of which are vying for dominance.   Recently on Automobilewoche.de, an article quoted several top people in Germany's electric car industry complaining about the Tesla Supercharger system, and how much better it would be for public fast charging infrastructure to be based on standards.

While we agree with the sentiment, the people making those statements have their own agenda - to assure dominance of the Combined Charging System.  Further, the phrasing is similar to what Shad Balch (General Motors) said in May 2012 in a California State Senate public hearing on electric car charging infrastructure.  Both Balch and these Germans rest their argument on CCS being the Standard, so therefore that's the only fast charging system which should be deployed.

At that meeting Balch laid out for State Sen. Corbett a series of priorities GM has in fostering electric vehicle adoption, the last of which had to do with charging standards.  He started by saying the J1772 standard was a big improvement over the previous era of electric cars and non-standardized charging connectors.  But he described the current situation as a "hodgepodge of fast charging standards" and said, "we need to make sure, especially because we're talking about taxpayer money, that ONLY those standards are installed going forward."  He actually got boooo'd at that point, because everyone in the audience knew he was slamming CHAdeMO.

With that in mind, here's what the Germans were quoted saying:
  • Dr. Arndt Neuhaus, CEO of RWE Germany: "When charging infrastructure Tesla uses a proprietary system instead of an open system, in the computer industry, this approach has not been implemented so far. Electric mobility has to rely on open standards to be quickly mass market. I have to use with my plug each charging station in Europe. A separate plug does not help there."  (original: „Bei der Ladeinfrastruktur nutzt Tesla ein proprietäres System statt eines offenen Systems, in der Computerindustrie hat sich dieser Weg bislang nicht durchgesetzt. Die Elektromobilität muss auf offene Standards setzen, um schnell massenmarkttauglich zu werden. Ich muss mit meinem Stecker jede Ladesäule in Europa nutzen können. Ein eigener Stecker hilft da nicht.“)
  • Daimler Chief Development Officer said Thomas Weber: "The future lies in the standardization. As with the petrol filling stations and we need a cross-vendor charging network because not least can thus reduce the cost of infrastructure and comfortable is for the customer." (original: „Die Zukunft liegt in der Standardisierung. Wie auch bei den Kraftstofftankstellen brauchen wir ein herstellerübergreifendes Ladenetz, weil sich damit nicht zuletzt die Infrastrukturkosten reduzieren lassen und es für den Kunden komfortabler wird“)
  • Bosch Boss Volkmar Denner: "There would be economically nonsense, now if any vehicle manufacturers would set up its own infrastructure. Much more useful would be if the variety of charging stations owners for the customer would not be relevant because the software in the background takes care of everything for him. When we are dealing since long with small-minded discussions, then we get into a serious imbalance. The technique for a Europe-wide charging network we have.We need it now but really want to implement." (original: „Es wäre doch volkswirtschaftlich ein Unsinn, wenn jetzt jeder Fahrzeughersteller seine eigene Infrastruktur aufstellen würde.  Viel sinnvoller wäre doch, wenn die Vielfalt an Ladesäulenbesitzern für den Kunden gar nicht relevant wäre, weil die Software im Hintergrund alles für ihn regelt.  Wenn wir uns da noch lange mit kleinkarierten Diskussionen beschäftigen, dann kommen wir in eine bedenkliche Schieflage.   Die Technik für ein europaweites Ladenetz haben wir. Wir müssen es jetzt aber auch wirklich umsetzen wollen.“)
The translations probably aren't that good, but we get the gist of it to be a call for standardized electric car charging systems, rather than the hodge-podge of systems currently in use.

It's possible they're calling on Tesla to submit the Supercharger system to standardization.  But, it's much more likely that they're calling on Tesla to simply adopt one of the open standards rather than going their own way.

To my eyes after having observed this issue since 2010 (see The controversy in fast charging for electric vehicles (PlugIn 2010)) that an allegation many make could well be true.  Namely, that the German and American car makers colluded in the SAE committee to ensure that CHAdeMO did not get standardized in an effort to throw a monkey wrench into Nissan's plans for electric car dominance.

Consider that neither the American nor German car companies have yet to deploy electric cars with Combo Charging System plugs in any respectably sized quantity, while both Nissan and Tesla are going full speed ahead with selling fast-charge-capable electric cars, and both are supporting deployment of fast charging stations.  Can you say "late for the game"?

(CCS cars:  Chevy Spark EV, miniscule quantities.  BMW i3, just started production last month in reasonably large quantities.  That's it.  Ford, VW, nor the other members of the anti-CHAdeMO consortium have announced any CCS cars.  Just today, Ford revealed some info on the 2015 Ford Focus Electric, and it's clear from the images that it does not have a CCS compatible charging port.)

It's a little disingenuous to call for standards, and then not be selling many electric cars that comply with the standard.  CCS will not be a useful standard until there are a large number of vehicles implementing that standard.

Dr. Neuhaus alluded to the computer industry as not being controlled by closed systems.  That's an interesting point, and the rise of the Internet is directly attributable to open standards that any company could implement.  But that doesn't mean the Computer Industry doesn't have closed systems.  Microsoft's Windows is just one example of a closed system, and Apple's iPhone is another example.  It hasn't always been true that open systems always win out over closed systems, either.  What is always true is that numbers win, the system with the largest sales is what wins.

In February, Nissan installed the 1000'th CHAdeMO charger in Europe.

On Monday, Nissan announced a deal to install 100 CHAdeMO charging stations in Germany.

Both Nissan and Tesla are going full steam ahead with fast charger deployments in North America.

In Europe, Tesla Motors has a few Supercharger stations in Norway, Germany and the Netherlands, and by the end of the year plans an extensive system covering most of Western Europe and Scandinavia.

That leaves us wondering how market cohesion will come about, or will the electric car fast charging market continue on divergent paths?  If the latter we know it will be painful.  At best we'll end up with a hodge-podge of adapters such as the one Tesla is now selling that allows Model S owners to recharge at a CHAdeMO station.  It's theoretically possible to develop a CHAdeMO-CCS adapter, but wouldn't be economically viable until there's enough such cars on the market.

One Western Romanian company pledges to not frack or otherwise tap shale gas deposits

During last weekends anti-protests in Romania, one company based in Western Romania went to the protest rally in Arad to reiterate they will not use hydraulic fracturing or any other technology to exploit shale gas.  In a specific location, near Curtici.  Panfora Oil & Gas company said in a press release on Monday they will not perform operations related to shale gas.

The following quotes come from Panfora Oil & Gas, MOL Group company after protests Sunday at Arad: No explore and exploit shale gas not Curtici, and are attributed to Gabor Zele, Managing Director of Panfora Oil & Gas.

Specifically: "Panfora Oil & Gas reafirma ca nu va explora si nu va exploata gaze de sist in perimetrul Ex-6 Curtici si repeta invitatia de a semna angajamente juridice cu toate partile interesate" (which Chrome translated as "Panfora Oil & Gas reaffirms that will explore and exploit shale gas will not perimeter Ex-6 Curtici and repeat the invitation to sign the legal obligations of all stakeholders")

And: "Dorim sa ii reasiguram pe toti locuitorii din zona ca vrem sa construim o relatie pe termen lung, benefica ambelor parti, impreuna cu comunitatile din judetul Arad. Dorim sa ii reasiguram pe toti locuitorii din zona ca vrem sa construim o relatie pe termen lung, benefica ambelor parti, impreuna cu comunitatile din judetul Arad. Suntem disponibili si vom semna angajamente juridice in acest sens cu toate partile interesate, pentru a incredinta pe oricine de bunele noastre intentii" (translation: "We wish to reassure all residents of the area that we want to build a long term relationship, beneficial to both parties, along with the communities of Arad. As we have said since last year, I have planned and will not perform any operations related to shale gas in perimeter EX-6 Curtici and we will not explore nor exploit shale gas in any area of the perimeter, either by Hydraulic fracturing, nor by any other technology. We are available and will sign legal obligations in this respect with all stakeholders to anyone entrust our good intentions,")

And: "Dupa cum sa demonstrat in multe zone din judetul Arad - Pecica, Turnu, Pereg, activitatile de explorare si productie de petrol si gaze conventionale pot co-exista cu cele agricole in cele mai bune conditii. Mai mult decat atat, operatiunile petroliere au sprijinit dezvoltarea zonelor respective. Este important de subliniat ca nu vor fi afectate nici sanatatea oamenilor si nici drepturile de proprietate ale acestora" (translation: "As demonstrated in many areas of Arad - Pecica, Turnu, Pereg, exploration and production of conventional oil and gas can co- farm there with the best conditions. Moreover, petroleum operations supported the development areas. It is important to note that they will not be affected by any human health nor their property rights")

And: "Legislatia din Romania acorda titularului acordului de concesiune drept de servitute asupra terenurilor, iar detinatorii acestora primesc sume de bani in acest sens. Aceste prevederi asigura accesul pe terenuri pe durata masuratorilor, care dureaza cateva zile pentru fiecare proprietar, in functie de marimea terenului." (translation: "legislation in Romania holder of the concession agreement granted easement lands and their owners receive money in this regard. These provisions ensure access to the courts during the measurements, which takes a few days for each owner, depending on the size of the land")