Czech shale gas licence of Hutton Energy subsidiary cancelled

12 April 2012 15:53  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--A provisional shale gas exploration licence awarded to BasGas Energia Czech has been cancelled following a meeting with local mayors, the Czech Republic’s environment ministry said on Thursday.

The licence, granted to BasGas Energia Czech, a subsidiary of Australian company Hutton Energy, was withdrawn after the mayors told environment minister Tomas Chalupa that opposition to shale gas exploration in a 777sq km (300sq mile) area of Nachod-Trutnov in the north of the Czech Republic had not been sufficiently taken into account, according to the ministry.

The concerns of objectors included the fear that exploration drilling could contaminate water supplies in an area in which about 120,000 people draw their water from a single source.

Chalupa decided that the ministry’s Hradec Kralove regional executive committee had made legal and procedural errors in granting the licence, the ministry added.

The minister had also concluded that local government bodies had not been provided with all the required information in advance of the licensing decision and were not offered ample opportunity to express their views on the matter, it said.

Hutton Energy said it regretted the decision but would make a second application for a licence to the regional executive committee, with any required additional information.

The company, founded in Australia in 2009, is pursuing unconventional gas development opportunities in the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, the Netherlands, France and Spain.

Its Czech Republic plans include a proposed shale gas exploration of a 946sq km area in the Berounka area of the Prague basin, 30km southwest of the Czech capital.

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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