Elimination of environmental burdens caused by oil and gas extraction in the Lower Morava Biosphere Reserve

South Moravia is a place of important deposits of crude oil and gas. Projects connected with localization and extracting of these raw materials were launched at the turn of the 20th century. In the past, especially in the 1950s and 1960s, different subjects carried out prospecting and drilling activities connected with crude oil and gas.

However, not all oil wells were disposed of for different reasons and at present, the so-called old environmental burdens and their technical condition endanger the environment and most pressingly the sources of drinking water. The highest degree of risk is connected with oil-wells - such as the drill holes in the Morava floodplain, in the Morava Quaternary Protected Area of Natural Water Accumulation and in the Lower Morava Biosphere Reserve. This area runs along the right bank of the Morava river from the town of Hodonín to the Dyje river and represents a significant accumulation of drinking water. It was in this area, where long before the protection of drinking water sources was established, old oil deposits had been extracted in Hodonín, Nesyt and Týnec.

A part of these environmental burdens can be found directly in the area of Lower Morava BR. Consequently; PBC had a technical project of these burdens' disposal drawn up.

The objective of this project is to environmentally dispose of 15 old drill holes in the vicinity of Týnec, Kostice and Lanžhot, including the remediation and reclamation of contaminated sites and disposal of old relics of prospecting and oil and gas extraction. The projects also outlines the technical procedures of removal of the above-mentioned old environmental burdens in such a way that would completely remove the contaminated soil and would not pose any further risks to the environment.

In order to physically remove the environmental burdens, PBC applied for funding from the
State Environmental Fund of the Czech Republic through which funding from European Union Structural Funds, more specifically from the Operational Program Infrastructure, Priority No. 3 - Enhancing of environmental infrastructure, can be obtained as well. The application was attended to and at the end of 2005 first two contaminated sites were removed from the vicinity of Týnec. The project is due to finish in 2007.

Following the successfully implemented projects the number of old environmental burdens will decrease significantly and the environment in Lower Morava BR will be enhanced.