Bulgaria's Environment Minister Bans Unconventional Gas Technologies in Dobrudzha
Bulgaria's caretaker Environment Minister Svetlana Zhekova has issued a ban on the use of unconventional gas exploration and production technologies at license block Vranino-1 in Dobrudzha.
The decision of the Environment Ministry on gas exploration in the area was met with strong civil discontent and protests.
On September 7, a protest attended by around 15-200 people took place in front of the Environment Ministry HQ in Sofia against the decision of the Ministry to coordinate a program for exploration and prospecting of coal gas in the area of the village of Vranino, Dobrich District, with American company Park Place Energy.
The protesters expressed fears that the technology of the exploration activities could result in water pollution on the entire territory of Dobrudzha.
The decision of the Environment Ministry was also opposed by the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Bulgarian Greens party (Zelenite).
On September 9, the Environment Ministry issued a supplementary ban to its decision from August 26.
According to Bulgarian environmentalists, as cited by money.bg, the additional measures and restrictions for the investor suffice to guarantee clean water for Varna and Dobrudzha.
The contract between Bulgaria's Minister of Economy and Energy and Park Place Energy Corp was signed in April 2014.
Bulgaria has introduced a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing for shale gas exploration and production.
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