“There’s enough gas under Switzerland to make us self-sufficient!” Patrick Lahusen, 77, who has been drilling for oil and gas in Switzerland for decades, says: Lahusen knows the subsoil of Switzerland like the back of his hand and has a wealth of valuable data for potential exploitation of the deposits.
It’s a ray of hope in Switzerland’s desperate search for an alternative to Russian natural gas. Rerouting global gas flows is a complex process, requiring new pipelines or liquefied natural gas terminals to send gas from the Gulf or the US to Europe and Switzerland.
Drilled a lot in Switzerland
In this country, oil and gas deposits have been repeatedly claimed. For example, in Vaud, on Lake Geneva or in Veyach ZH. The controversial fracking method was also used there. The bedrock is fractured at great expense so that all the oil and gas deposits can be exploited. Lahusen assures: “The technology today is very good at control. If you do it right, there are no big problems today.
Lahusen was involved in most of the projects. Few bore wells in this country are covered only by cement bridges. “These could be reopened in a few weeks.” Lahusen did not want to reveal the exact location of the test wells out of consideration for local residents. They should not discover through the media that the solution to the Swiss gas problem may lie beneath their homes.
Gas from Finsterwald LU
To date only one significant gas deposit has been exploited in Switzerland. Oil was searched for and gas was discovered at Finsterwald LU. The deposit was exploited for gas between 1985 and 1994, which pumped the gas into a nearby transportation pipeline. No money is made from it, but it can cover at least part of the production costs and drilling costs.
Gas was also discovered at a geothermal project in St. Gallen, but extraction of the deposit was not considered at the time. Until a few months ago, it was much cheaper to import gas from abroad than to produce the energy source at your doorstep.
That changed dramatically when the war in Ukraine broke out. Due to the high price of oil and gas, it is very worthwhile to search for gas deposits in Switzerland yourself.
Preliminary work confirmed
Especially in Ticino. Natural gas may also be produced there very soon.Sunday newspaper» writes. “If everything goes smoothly and the responsible authorities support us, we can produce natural gas in Switzerland from the end of 2025,” says Pietro Osch. The retired businessman has been searching for gas in Ticino for a long time.
Oesch previously explored the Ticino soil for gas deposits: “65 percent of the initial work and clarifications were already done between 2000 and 2010”. First results are promising. Not surprising since gas has been produced in neighboring Italy for decades. However, the project was discontinued in 2018.
Although Lahusen describes Ticino as “very interested in the search for gas,” he is somewhat skeptical about the extent of deposits under Lake Maggiore: “There are always gas leaks in the lake. That means the reservoir is draining. In addition, the Eurasian and African plates are colliding in Ticino. This means that underground pressure is high, And the gas is trapped in very small rock pores.
Federal Council on Energy Crisis: “The situation has worsened in recent weeks.”(02:30)
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