Petition to DEA Chairman Thomas Rappuhn to refrain from oil drilling in Schwedeneck

Please sign the petition to DEA Chairman Thomas Rappuhn to refrain from oil drilling in Schwedeneck! 

At a meeting on 9 May, 2016, Environment Minister Robert Habeck (Germany, State of Schleswig-Holstein) made clear that he will not use his political scope to protect the coast of Schwedeneck from oil production. Therefore, we have now formulated a petition that is directly addressed to the Chairman of the oil company DEA.

DEA has announced that they will take their decision about oil drilling in autumn 2016. We, the people in the region concerned, intend to demonstrate with our petition that the DEA will not be granted the “social licence to operate” from us (cf. S. Brieske, Licence to Operate: Stakeholder Management als Voraussetzung für erfolgreiche Genehmigungsverfahren, DGMK/ÖGEW-Frühjahrstagung 2014). That is, even if politicians and authorities give priority to outdated industrial projects rather than to the protection of the environment, we, the population in the region concerned, will not tacitly accept such a violation of our fundamental right to a good environmental quality of life.


Please join us in our petition and help us make clear that we will never grant the DEA the “social licence” to operate in Schwedeneck!

Prof. Dr. Linda Maria Koldau

Spokeswoman of the Action Group “Haende weg von Schwedeneck


Below is the English translation of the petition:


DEA Chairman Thomas Rappuhn: Stop your oil drilling project in Schwedeneck!

Dear Chairman Rappuhn,

In 2013, your company DEA (Deutsche Erdoel AG) was granted the permission to search for oil in the field Schwedeneck-See (Germany, state of Schleswig-Holstein). This autumn, DEA will decide whether you apply for the drilling license, thus definitely setting the course for producing fossil fuels over several decades in the protected Natura 2000 region of Eckernfoerde Bay.

If you decide for drilling, you will massively interfere with a European Nature and Wildlife Reserve. Already in 2012, the Schleswig-Holstein Environment Department emphasized that oil production in the entire field Schwedeneck-See is out of question. Nevertheless, Environment Minister Robert Habeck granted you the permission for oil search in this field. -A recently published study on the porpoise – whose habitat is found on the Schwedeneck coast – has now proven that any interference with the habitat of this protected species must be avoided, so that any drilling underneath their habitat is barred.

We, the citizens of Schwedeneck and tens of thousands of citizens in Germany, demand an end to the outdated production of fossil fuels. We request that you and your company return the license for Schwedeneck-See and refrain from applying for further licenses to produce oil in this field.


We have excellent reasons for our request:

  1. Nature and wildlife conservation

The coast of Schwedeneck is a protected European Natura 2000 region. The Schwedeneck cliffs form a highly instable geotope that would be immediately endangered by drilling activities. Several recreational sports and activities are banned at this coast throughout the spring and summer season in order to protect the breeding of endangered animal species – does the DEA intend to put these species at immediate risk by drilling in this protected region?

  1. Our quality of life in the region

We are familiar with the severe consequences of drilling for oil and gas – there are numerous ominous examples in Germany today. To name just a few of the incidences that already have happened:

  1. leakage of pipes with polluted deposit water (containing, amongst others, cancer-producing benzol)
  2. pollution of ground and drinking water
  3. old neglected deposits with drilling mud endangering the drinking water and farming – a highly topical scandal in the state of Schleswig-Holstein right now (please note: in the region of Schwedeneck, there are several of these deposits, their exact location is not even known)
  4. irresponsible handling of radioactive drilling side products
  5. damage to buildings due to earthquakes and submergence of ground
  6. truck noise, 24 hour illumination of the drilling plant, air pollution

We know that the DEA emphasizes that its “smart drilling plants” grant safe and clean oil production. However, the numerous accidents and failures that have happened in German oil and gas production regions – also in regions where DEA is active – clearly show that true safety in oil production does not exist.
We, the citizens of Schwedeneck and its neighbour regions, are not willing to accept such imminent risk for our health and our existence. Or does the DEA intend to take full liability for the long-term damage that oil drilling might cause to us, our children, the tourist infrastructure, the organic farming sites, and the tens of thousands of people coming to Schwedeneck every year?

  1. Climate protection and renewable energy sources

Both the German government and the international Paris Climate Change Conference (2015) have taken an irreversible decision to put an end to the production of fossil fuels. Does the DEA intend to act against this political decision for decades to come?

More than 82.000 people have signed our petition to Environment Minister Habeck to deny further licences to the DEA ( Habeck in turn prefers to interpret the German Mining Law in a way that leaves no political leeway to protect the environment against the claims of the mining industry. By the letter of the law, the DEA thus has a legal title to oil production in Schwedeneck.

However, you will not receive the “social licence to operate” from us, the citizens in Schwedeneck and the neighbour regions. The Schwedeneck Community Council, too, has unanimously said NO to oil drilling in Schwedeneck.

How do you define your social responsibility? DEA has become internationally visible due to the case of Schwedeneck. We, the citizens of Schwedeneck, and supporters from numerous countries all over the world, prompt you as Chairman of the DEA concern to assume your responsibility for the environment and the people. If DEA decides to drill for oil in an internationally protected nature reserve, in a popular holiday region and in one of the few German regions with an immaculately pure drinking water, many people around the world will wonder what sense of responsibility the DEA concern actually has.

Tens of thousands of people have already protested against oil production in Schwedeneck. We will uphold this protest: We, the people concerned, do not accept oil drilling in Schwedeneck!

With kind regards,

Prof. Dr. Linda Maria Koldau

Spokeswoman of the Action Group “Haende weg von Schwedeneck


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