BUCHAREST -- Chevron has obtained permits to explore for
shale gas in Eastern Romania, the Romanian environment
al agency said, despite
strong local opposition to the technique known as fracking.
protection agency of
Vaslui county, in north-eastern Romania, has delivered an environment
al permit to Chevron to
build exploration wells," the agency said.
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.
Shale gas drilling 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 shale gas.
But Prime Minister Victor Ponta changed his opinion this year
and said he was in favor of exploration.
Dow Jones Newswires