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Greenpeace blocks Chevron's Romanian shale gas site
by Staff Writers
Pungesti, Romania (AFP) July 07, 2014

Greenpeace activists leave protest against Chevron in Romania
Bucharest, Romania (UPI) Jul 8, 2013 - Activists from Greenpeace have left the site of a hydraulic fracturing effort in Romania led by Chevron, the environmental group said.

Greenpeace said its protesters were at the Chevron site for 15 hours to protest a hydraulic fracturing campaign. Through its Twitter account, Greenpeace Romania said 25 activists from seven different countries descended on the site early Monday to declare an "anti-Chevron quarantine area" in Pengesti.

"After 15 hours of non-stop protest at Chevron-Pungesti, all activists were evacuated, while press access was forbidden," it said in its latest post to the social media site.

Chevron says its hydraulic fracturing campaign in Romania is in the early stages. Its national subsidiary, Chevron Romania Exploration and Production, is the operator in the country's Barlad shale formation.

The company said it is drilling an exploration well in the area.

Shale campaigns in Europe are in their infancy. Romania is one of the Eastern European countries thought to be rich in shale gas reserves.

Greenpeace activists formed a human chain around the drilling site in Romania. While police were on hand during the demonstration, it was unclear if any arrests were made.

Around 20 Greenpeace activists blocked access to a shale gas exploration site in Romania on Monday, in a third attempt to scupper the drilling operations of US energy group Chevron.

Protesters locked hands and sat in front of the entrance to a drilling position in the northeastern village of Pungesti.

They prevented a lorry from entering and displayed banners reading "No to fracking".

Fracking is a controversial extraction technique that consists of injecting water and chemicals deep into rock to release gas.

Environmentalists warn that chemical-laced waste could contaminate fresh water resources, while the fracking itself could cause minor earthquakes.

Chevron started drilling its first exploratory Romanian well in May despite fierce opposition from residents who fear environmental damage in an area dependent on agriculture.

"Shale gas exploitation can not be done if it affects the life of hundreds of thousands of people living in the areas given in concession", said Laurentiu Ciocirlan, the Greenpeace campaign coordinator.

Chevron insists that its operations respect security standards and says that a decision on possible full-scale exploitation is to be made only in three to five years.

Later on Monday, a Chevron statement said the company respected "the right of individuals to express their opinions; however it should be done within the law".

Previous attempts to drill in Romania were suspended twice at the end of 2013 due to demonstrations by shale gas opponents.

Chevron argues that shale gas could prove crucial for Europe's energy security, especially as a crisis deepens in neighbouring Ukraine, a key transit country for Russian natural gas supplies.




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EU energy commissioner reviews future of shale natural gas
Berlin (UPI) Jul 7, 2013
Shale could eventually meet about 10 percent of the energy demand among European nations, European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said. Oettinger said companies with reservations about hydrualic fracturing, the controversial drilling practice dubbed fracking, should keep all options on the table. "I estimate that Europe has the potential to secure about a tenth of our need ... read more

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