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:

bosnians-celebrate-birthday-of-leader-they-never-knew-05-26-2017
26 May 17

Bosnians Celebrate Birthday of Leader They Never Knew

Bad weather did not stop a whole lot of young Bosnians from partying on May 25 in honour of the birthday of Yugoslav leader Josip Tito – who died long before most of them were born.

26 May 17

Balkan States Struggle to Meet NATO Benchmark

Premium Selection

bosnians-celebrate-birthday-of-leader-they-never-knew-05-26-2017
26 May 17

Bosnians Celebrate Birthday of Leader They Never Knew

Bad weather did not stop a whole lot of young Bosnians from partying on May 25 in honour of the birthday of Yugoslav leader Josip Tito – who died long before most of them were born.

ziadin-sela-outlines-vision-for-a-new-macedonia-05-26-2017
26 May 17

Ziadin Sela Outlines Vision for a New Macedonia

Macedonian ethnic Albanian leader recalls the night he was almost killed in parliament – and says Albanians expect tangible results from their support for Zoran Zaev - starting with justice reform.

26 May 17

Balkan States Struggle to Meet NATO Benchmark

25 May 17

Why Serbian Presidents Rule like Milosevic

24 May 17

Who is Who in the Kosovo Elections

Latest News from the Balkans

26 May 17

Small Town in Serbia Appeals For More Migrants