Home Page
 
News 01 Apr 13

Romania PM Backs Controversial Fracking Plans

Victor Ponta says that shale gas exploitation will reduce Romania’s dependency on natural gas imports from Russia.

Marian Chiriac
Bucharest

“I am in favour of shale gas exploration in Romania as this will boost domestic energy resources and reduce our reliance on fuel imports from Russia,” Prime Minister Victor Ponta said on Saturday in an interview for Antena3 TV station.

Ponta said that it may take up to five years to assess the potential volume of shale gas. “Any future exploration will be conducted in accordance with all European environmental standards,” the Prime Minister added.

Romania ended a moratorium on shale gas exploration in December.

Ponta changed his mind over fracking, having formerly said he was opposed to it, after deciding that Romania risked being left behind in terms of energy if its shale gas was not exploited.

In March 2011, while in opposition, Ponta’s Social Democratic Party, PSD, introduced a draft law in parliament seeking to ban shale gas exploitation by hydraulic fracturing.

But, after Ponta took office in May, his PSD-led government rejected its own earlier proposed law a month later.

The issue of shale gas exploitation remains controversial in Romania because of fears that fracking, which involves injecting water mixed with sand and chemicals into shale at high pressures, could pollute underground acquifiers and harm the environment.

In recent months, thousands of people took to the streets protesting against the plans of the US oil company Chevron to start drilling for shale gas, voicing worries about the impact on the environment.

Chevron this year will start preliminary exploration in the Vaslui area of eastern Romania, and it may extend operations later to the southeastern county of Constanta. Chevron has tried to calm environmental fears, saying that its technology is safe.

Neighbouring Bulgaria, as well as France, have halted all exploration of shale deposits owing to environmental concerns, while Britain stopped drilling in 2010 after exploration caused a minor tremour in northwest England.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

bosnian-hostel-tells-story-of-assassination-that-changed-world-07-26-2017
27 Jul 17

Bosnian Hostel Tells Story of Assassination that Changed World

A stay at an unusual hostel in Sarajevo takes visitors back to the event in 1914 that put the city on the map and unleashed the First World War.

27 Jul 17

Busting Myths About Russia’s Balkan Designs

27 Jul 17

Eight Signs of Hope From Kosovo’s Election

26 Jul 17

Tom Hardy Set to Star in Bosnia War Film

26 Jul 17

Croatia Broke EU Refugees Rules, ECJ Rules

26 Jul 17

Macedonian Police Crack Down on Street Racers

Premium Selection

bosnian-hostel-tells-story-of-assassination-that-changed-world-07-26-2017
27 Jul 17

Bosnian Hostel Tells Story of Assassination that Changed World

A stay at an unusual hostel in Sarajevo takes visitors back to the event in 1914 that put the city on the map and unleashed the First World War.

krunic-the-serbian-artist-in-search-of-conversation-06-07-2017
26 Jul 17

Krunic: The Serbian Artist in Search of Conversation

Belgrade-born painter Slavko Krunic describes his portraits as ‘satiriconography’ but insists his caricature-style in no way mocks his subjects.

24 Jul 17

The Many Charms of Serbia's Valjevo

24 Jul 17

The Srebrenica Refugee Camp that Never Closed

20 Jul 17

Serbia in Two Minds Over New IMF Deal

Latest News from the Balkans

26 Jul 17

Tom Hardy Set to Star in Bosnia War Film

26 Jul 17

Croatia Broke EU Refugees Rules, ECJ Rules

26 Jul 17

Macedonian Police Crack Down on Street Racers