Chevron to quit Romania. Through the eyes of the antifracking activists

Written by Maria Olteanu
(source: frackoffromania)

After the announcements made by Chevron during the last few months, when it decided to leave Lithuania, Poland and then Ukraine, Romania was the last European barricade for Chevron.

On Friday, a Chevron representative has said in London, commenting on the last decisions to withdraw from the 3 aforementioned countries “That leaves Romania, where we are in the process of relinquishing our concession interests”. The spokesman didn’t say why Chevron was giving up the Romanian concessions, which only leaves room for speculations. The Romanian activists know that the announcement looks simply too easy to be true, especially after the heavy fights in Pungești and the fierce defense that the Romanian state has pledged to offer to the shale gas companies in Romania, despite the strong opposition of the activists.

An official announcement of Chevron leaving Romania is still yet to be made and also the status of the four licences they were having on the Romanian territory stays uncertain. Like in the Polish case, when some companies have leaved Poland, others have bought off the mineral rights from the outgoing company.

In Romania, the fight against fracking keeps rolling, as Chevron is the first company to announce withdrawal from the country. Other 43 companies are still having valid permits – whose destination is not known, due to abusive nondisclosure clauses in the contracts with the companies.

Yet there are various places in Romania where there are rigs being drilled, some with flaring activities, some in the process of drilling, with a severe water contamination issue at the border with both Hungary and Serbia, in the municipality of Beba Veche and the surrounding municipalities (with the authorities stating, without pointing to any studies, tat the cause is natural). And on top of it, there is a general fever of seismic testing taking over the Romanian countryside for the past years, which can only leave one thinking that there are enough information to support such a massive effort in investigating the hydrocarbons potential. Furthermore, other 38 new perimeters are about to be licensed by the National Agency for Mineral Resources – championing of lack of transparency among the Romanian authorities – which has turned all the information the Agency was dealing into job secrets, by means of an abusive document issued by the director of the Agency.

The move of Chevron leaves the Romanian activists, who are taking into account all the previous information, in an state of blunt surprise, since Chevron only drilled one rig in only one of its 4 perimeters, which is definitely not enough for asessing the potential of shale gas in Romania.

In fact, for the antifracking fight in Romania, the move of Chevron leaves the activists without an official target, as officially, there was only Chevron digging for shale gas. Yet those opposing fracking in Romania know that the leave of Chevron literally means just a small victory, yet definitely not winning the war against fracking. They are, in fact, suspecting the fact that behind the move of Chevron, there will be more companies drilling undisturbed for identifying shale gas potential, unaccounted for, such as OMV Petrom, Halliburton, Hunt Oil, Panfora Oil, NIS Petrol, Romgaz etc., away from a public that has received the piece of news it wanted so much to hear – Chevron leaving Romania.

With a very untransparent bureaucracy when dealing with the questions of the civil society and a lot of activity of exploration going one around the country, despite of the oil price crisis, the Romanian activists are rather reserved when assessing the news of Chevron leaving Romania, knowing that there is a lot to be done in order to prevent fracking from Romania and from Europe, also from the background of a very frack-friendly EU Commission, with its Energy and Climate Change Commissioner, the Spanish Canete, coming from the oil ad gas industry.

Derrick in Adjud, a town south of Pungesti (region of Moldova), where Viking Oil has drilledstarting with the spring 2014. The picture catches a flaring tower and the derrick surrounded by tall fences, just like in Pungesti. Picture taken on February the 1st. Lacking more information, the activists suspect that drilling for shale gas could be carried out at the spot.

Posted by at 21/02/2015
Filed in category: Buerger & Rechte, Natur & Schutz, Politik & Wirtschaft, and tagged with: , , , ,

2 Responses to Chevron to quit Romania. Through the eyes of the antifracking activists

  1. Anonym says:

    hmm. sehr interessant, dass nun ausgerechnet ein amerikanischer Konzern das Land verlaesst.(und die anderen froehlich weitermachen). Der Optimist wuerde sich freuen, der Pessimist vielleicht sagen, die Ratten verlassen das sinkende Schiff. Stellt sich die Frage:(deren Antwort vielleich manche vermuten)
    Sind es wirklich fehlende oder mangelhafte Vorkommen, der niedrige Rohoelpreis oder etwa die weiter eskalierende Lage in unserem Nachbarland, die sich am Horizont abzeichnet. Sollte dritteres der Fall sein, sollten wir uns nur sehr zurueckhaltent freuen.

  2. Marian says:

    Chevron glaube nicht, dass wird in Rumänien als Suppe schließen Sie es Tanken, gibt es viele Brunnen in ganz Rumänien.

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