Greenpeace activists tied themselves to the gates of an exploration site belonging to Chevron in eastern Romania today, closing the entrance to the well as they pressurized the government to outlaw fracking.
Close to 25 activists from Austria, Romania, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland gathered at the Pungesti site. The activists waved placards titled “Stop fracking” and Pungesti-anti-Chevron quarantine area”. So far, several police officers sent there haven’t removed the protesters, reported Reuters.
Romania is thought to have shale gas reserves totalling 51 trillion cubic feet, which the U.S. Energy Information Administration says it can meet domestic demand for over a century. Chevron stated exploring for the gas in December in the village of Pungesti in the eastern part of the country after rescheduling it multiple times due to protests from locals.
The protesters expressed concern that Chevron may use fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, a process that involves blasting a high-pressure mix of water, chemicals and sand into the underground rocks, dissolving them and releasing the trapped oil or natural gas.
The technique has been opposed by environmentalists who argue that it leads to earthquakes and pollutes air and groundwater supplies. However, supporters say the method has been used safely in the United States, where it has helped reduce reliance on imports and hence lowered energy prices.
Chevron, which was the first energy firm to carry out shale gas exploration in Romania, intends to drill more wells and that it won’t use fracking during its exploration program that will run for five years. Chevron also holds rights to prospect for gas in three blocks close to the Black Sea. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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