Bulgaria's Top Court to Rule on US Co Shale Gas Permit in May
Bulgaria's top court will deliver its decision on the appeal against the award of Vranino 1-11 block to US company Park Place in May, it emerged on Monday.
The Bulgarian government has formally approved a 5-year concession for oil and gas prospecting in a 400 sq.km. area in northeast Bulgaria for North American company Park Place Energy Corp.
Park Place Energy Corp. is registered in the US state of Nevada and based in Calgary and Vancouver, Canada.
The company specializes in the extraction of shale gas, a procedure for capturing gas trapped in earth layers that triggered waves of protests across Bulgaria in January.
Park Place Energy Corp said its representatives will appear before the Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court on March 26, 2012 to present arguments defending the award of Vranino 1-11.
The award has been challenged by an unsuccessful competitor.
The US company management said it believes the block presents a substantial opportunity and is committed to defending its exploration license.
Park Place's winning bid involved drilling five wells and the re-testing of a previously drilled well. It said exploration will commence once the permit issue is resolved.
Since 2006, Park Place has undertaken oil and gas exploration activities in North America in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Canada Tennessee, USA.
Internationally Park Place's claims have included the North Sea, (Norway) and most recently in Bulgaria.
In January, following a wave of environmental protests, the Bulgarian government revoked a shale gas exploration permit granted to US energy giant Chevron for deposits in Northeastern Bulgaria, citing the insufficient proof of the environmental safety of hydraulic fracturing. The decision followed a wave of protests organized by environmentalists and citizens across the country.
On January 18, the Cabinet imposed an indefinite ban on hydraulic fracturing, a method which involves injecting a mix of water, sand and chemicals at very high pressure deep underground to crack rock and release oil and gas.
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