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Chevron halts search for shale gas in Romania following public outrage

Published time: October 17, 2013 22:38
Edited time: December 24, 2013 15:07
People attend a protest against Chevron's plans to explore for shale gas in Barlad, 266 km northeast of Bucharest, April 4, 2013. (Reuters/Bogdan Cristel)

People attend a protest against Chevron's plans to explore for shale gas in Barlad, 266 km northeast of Bucharest, April 4, 2013. (Reuters/Bogdan Cristel)

US oil giant Chevron says the company has suspended the search for shale gas in Romania after anti-fracking protests took place across the country.

"Chevron can today confirm it has suspended activities in Silistea, Pungesti commune, Vaslui County," the company said in a Thursday statement.

The company’s priority was to "conduct these activities in a safe and environmentally responsible manner."

Over the past few days, hundreds of locals have protested at the location where the company planned to search for shale gas. Villagers blocked access to the site.

Around 200 people stayed overnight, equipped with food, warm clothes, and tents. They were accompanied by NGO representatives from across Romania.

Approximately 2,000 people also took to the streets in the country’s capital of Bucharest.

The demonstrators clashed with police, making it the most violent protest to take place in the capital since the beginning of September, when the series of street rallies began.

Environmentalists say that pumping water and chemicals at high pressure into deep rock formations to free oil and gas could contaminate groundwater, AP reported.

Local authorities are set to hold a non-binding referendum in November on whether to allow Chevron to explore the site. The oil giant said it has all the necessary permits for the exploration.

The US Energy Information Administration pointed out that Romania could potentially recover 51 trillion cubic feet of shale gas, which would cover domestic demand for more than a century, according to Reuters.

Comments (9)


Ramona Cuciuch 28.12.2013 16:38

In Pungesti, locals have raised several tents and announced indefinite hunger strike, saying they have had enough of aggressive monitoring and surveillance from the gendarmes, who constantly harass and question them every time they leave the house or want to walk through the village.The locals from Pungesti live now for several weeks in a state of constant harassment, designed to bring to the limit the resistance of all who are against the exploitation of shale gas and stop any form of protest.The gendarmes practicaly conquered the village on December 2 , when Chevron sent for a second time its equipment in the area.


Rosia Andrada 05.12.2013 06:47

look on youtube for the video " sos pungesti video english" , nobody deserves such a treatment...:(


Agnes Maria 21.10.2013 11:00

Meanwhile, here in Canada, we have the Elsipogtog First Nation violently opposing shale gas exploration, for weeks now, with no resolution in sight. Neither side knows how to pull back, and talks are beginning though so far fruitless. And, sadly but truly, the Natives do not care for the environment as much as they care about getting their share of the profits in the end.

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