Incoming Romanian ministers announce shale gas moratorium

04 May 2012 16:22  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The Romanian Cabinet-in-waiting has declared an immediate moratorium on shale gas exploration until European studies detail the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing, it said on Friday.

Under details of a government programme announced by Romania's prime minister-designate, Victor Ponta, the left-leaning administration is to follow France and Bulgaria in putting a halt to shale gas exploration activities.

The move is set to hit Chevron Corp which holds four exploration and exploitation licenses for shale gas in Romania, and has moved to the exploration stage in the country.

Canada's Sterling Resources and Hungary's MOL have previously expressed an interest in exploring for shale gas and other unconventional gases in Romania, according to the country's National Agency for Mineral Resources.

In January 2012, a working group on the impact of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, on the environment was formed at European Commission level. However, there is no EU legislation on fracking, with regulations left up to individual EU states.

Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria are likely to have combined recoverable shale gas reserve of 19 trillion cubic feet, according to analysis by the US Energy Information Administration.

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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