3 Villages in NE Bulgaria Protest against Oil, Gas DrillingEnergy | November 10, 2014, Monday // 09:44| views
Despite the moratorium on shale gas exploration and production through hydraulic fracturing, people living in northeastern Bulgaria constantly fear that shale gas drilling may be launched in the region.Photo by BGNES
Residents of the northeastern Bulgarian villages of Troitsa, Osmar, and Han Krum staged a protest Sunday against oil and gas drilling in the area.
Workers of a Romanian firm hired by Bulgarian private gas company Overgas have been conducting exploration activities in the area for several days, according to reports of the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR).
The lack of concrete information about the ongoing activities has triggered suspicions of locals of shale gas exploration, despite the assurances of representatives of Overgas that the aim of the exploration activities is different.
Locals have launched a petition against further operations of the Romanian company.
The activities of the Romanian firm are in line with the terms of the 2010 contract with Overgas for oil and gas exploration in the Provadia block, which comprises territories of the municipalities of Varna, Shumen, Targovishte, and Razgrad.
Bulgaria’s Environment Ministry has issued instructions banning exploration activities in protected areas or areas which are included in the Natura 2000 network.
The exploration activities on the territory of the three villages will continue until end-November.
Bulgaria has imposed an indefinite ban on shale gas exploration and production through hydraulic fracturing.
Despite that, people living in northeastern Bulgaria constantly fear that shale gas drilling may be launched in the region, causing soil contamination, according to investor.bg.
In October, investor interest in the Vranino block caused the Shabla municipality to adopt a declaration against shale gas drilling in the region.
At the same time, the city of Shumen set up a civic committee against the exploration and production of shale gas.