Romania Gives Green Light to Shale Gas Fracking near Bulgarian Border

Energy | May 8, 2013, Wednesday // 19:36|  views

At the beginnin of April 2013, a rally in support of 20 Romanian cities protesting against hydraulic fracturing (fracking) was held in front of the Romanian Embassy in Sofia. Photo by BGNES

Romania's Environment Protection Agency has issued permits to US energy giant Chevron to explore shale gas in two blocks near the Bulgarian border.

The permits to explore shale gas deposits using the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) technology have been granted for the Constanta municipality – the blocks of Costinesti and Vama Veche, according the Romanian Environment Ministry, cited by and APF.

The permits give green light to Chevron to conduct controlled explosions at a depth of 10 and 15 meters on an area of 1 800 square kilometers.

The fracking technology is a thorny issue in many countries, including the US, and has been banned in some.

Bulgarians, particularly those in Southern Dobrudza, have harbored fears that if the Romanian moratorium is lifted, the technology will for sure affect Bulgarian regions close to the Bulgarian-Romanian border and will destroy the soil and poison the waters.

The Bulgarian Parliament adopted on January 18, 2012, an indefinite moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. Thus, Bulgaria became the second EU country to ban test drilling for shale gas using the method. The decision followed a wave of environmental protests.

On January 17, 2012, the Bulgarian government revoked a shale gas exploration permit granted to Chevron for deposits in Northeastern Bulgaria, citing the insufficient proof of the environmental safety of hydraulic fracturing.

The village of Vama Veche is right on the Bulgarian-Romanian border.

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Tags: shale gas, hydraulic fracturing, fracking, Dobrudzha, protest, moratorium, US, rallies hydraulic fracturing, Romania, fracking, Bulgaria, border, Chevron, Constanta, Vama Veche, Costinesti


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