Romania Govt Awards Shale Gas Exploration Permit to Chevron
Designated Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta addresses lawmakers during the validation vote session, in Bucharest, Romania, 21 December 2012. Photo by EPA/BGNES
The Romanian government awarded Thursday a shale gas exploration permit to US energy giant Chevron for the eastern part of the country.
The Romanian authorities reversed their earlier decision suspend Chevron from gas exploration activities.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who took office in May, emphasized that the permit only involved exploration activities
"Exploration, yes. After confirmation of the existence or non-existence of shale gas, which would take appreciatively five years, we will take the decision which presumes yes, we will exploit shale gas, while respecting all European and world standards for environmental protection," Ponta said, as cited by Euractiv.
In order to start drilling for shale gas in Eastern Romania, Chevron must also obtain a construction permit.
The EU has so far abstained from commenting on decisions of Member States to ban or allow shale gas drilling.
A recent study published by the EC indicated that there was no need for specific EU legislation on shale gas.
The European Parliament has recommended that Member States adopt national laws to regulate shale gas exploration.
The issue of shale gas drilling has stirred heated debates on a global scale and the method of hydraulic fracturing has been banned in countries like Bulgaria and France over environmental concerns.
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