Chevron to divest Romania shale licences, quit Europe exploration

Source: ICIS News

2015/02/24

LONDON (ICIS)--Chevron intends to pursue the divestment of its shale gas exploration concessions in Romania this year after finding them to be financially unattractive, the US-based oil and gas giant said on Tuesday.

Following similar moves out of Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine in recent years, the decision represents Chevron’s disengagement from shale gas exploration prospects in Europe.

“We are not pursuing shale gas exploration licences in Europe,” said a company spokesman.

After completing the drilling of one exploration well in the Barshad play in northeast Romania and carrying out a two-dimensional seismic survey across two of its three concessions in the southeast of the country, Chevron has decided  not to pursue further exploration in the country and to divest the licenses.

“This is a business decision which is a result of Chevron's overall assessment that this project in Romania does not currently compete favourably with other investment opportunities in our global portfolio,” the spokesman added.

The move leaves Chevron as the latest firm to abandon once-promising assets in eastern Europe, following Eni, Talisman Energy, ExxonMobil and Marathon Oil’s decisions to quit exploration in Poland.

Poland’s push on attracting firms to develop its shale gas ran aground in the face of legislative delays, unwieldy bureaucracy and the “indolence” of public authorities, according to the country’s Supreme Audit Office (NIK) at the time of Eni’s decision not to pursue further shale gas exploration in the country in early 2014.