A group of Romanian officials are on a visit to US to attend presentations on shale gas extraction. Representatives from the Economy and Environment Ministries, as well as from the National Agency for Mineral Resources and from the National Authority for Energy Regulation, including its head Niculae Havrileţ have been invited by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency to learn about shale gas extraction. The Romanian team is in Texas, where technical demonstrations are given by the American firms Halliburton, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Cameron, all of which have activities in Romania.
Chevron currently needs two more permits to start exploratory drilling for shale gas in Barlad, Romania. The exploration work uses only conventional methods and not the controversial hydraulic fracturing, used to extract shale gas.
NGOs and citizens from the areas where shale gas could be extracted have opposed it, saying the technique used will damage the environment.
In Romania, Chevron owns rights to exploration and exploitation of gas in Barlad and three areas in Constanta county – Vama Veche, Adamclisi and Costinesti – for which Chevron received concession agreements in March 2012. According to the company, the three onshore blocks cover some 2,700 sq km.
US energy company Chevron has been in negotiations over shale gas exploration in Romania for well over a year. The Social Liberal Union put all shale gas projects on hold last year when the party took power. Since then, EU environmental studies on the impact of shale gas exploration have been published and the Romanian government has allowed projects to continue.
(photo source: Chevron)