BUCHAREST -- Chevron has obtained permits to explore for
shale gas in Eastern Romania, the Romanian environmental
agency said, despite strong local opposition to the technique
known as fracking.
"The environment protection agency of Vaslui county, in
north-eastern Romania, has delivered an environmental permit
to Chevron to build exploration
wells," the agency
The permits will allow Chevron to prospect in three villages
in this impoverished rural area.
Thousands of people took to the streets of the town of Barlad
in the past few months to object.
In May, the company was granted permits to explore for shale
gas on Romania's Black Sea coast.
has fuelled controversy around the world, and
the technique used, hydraulic fraction or fracking, has been
banned in France and Bulgaria.
Fracking is a process whereby liquid products, including
water and chemicals, are pumped deep into oil or gas-bearing
rock to cause fractures and release hydrocarbons.
A 2012 study by Duke University in the Uinted States state of
North Carolina showed that drinking water wells are at risk
of contamination from fracking.
Chevron maintains that all its activities "have, and will
continue to be conducted in compliance with Romanian
laws,European Union requirements and stringent industry
Romania's center left coalition, in power since May 2012, had
criticized the previous government's decision to grant
Chevron and other oil groups concessions to prospect for
But Prime Minister Victor Ponta changed his opinion this year
and said he was in favor of exploration
Dow Jones Newswires