Chevron Fracks Open Communication on Shale Gas with Romanian Government

U.S. companies eyeing shale gas extraction in Romania is not so much about sustainable environment as it is about politics and fighting regional trade wars.  Romania might consider giving the green light on shale gas fracking and strengthen U.S. trade and diplomatic ties thus shedding a light on the tough independence trade war which is fought with Russian providers and subcontractors.

As we speak (write or read), the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has invited a Romanian Delegation consisting of officials from the Ministry of Economy, Environment, mineral resources and energy agencies to witness live technological demos of shale gas fracking in the State of Texas.

Demos of shale gas extraction technologies shall be made available to Romanian officials by U.S. companies such as Halliburton, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Cameron. All of them are currently operating in Romania. Chevron is due to start the drilling process in the second half of 2013 of a shale gas exploration well in Barlad, Vaslui county and gather seismic data in Constanta county where the company also operates.

Chevron_hydraulic fracturing

As Chevron states on its corporate page, honest and timely communication is the guiding principle when engaging with governments, communities and local stakeholders. The thing is, Romanian shale gas extraction or fracking per se has not been given the green light yet but it seems to be on its way despite the fact that local Romanian communities have taken to the streets to protest against this “open communication” practice of bypassing local communities and engaging only with decision makers.

Civil society protests in areas such as Constanta or Barlad have started last year in the winter of Romanian austerity discontent when the now Government in office was overtly opposing shale gas extraction in Parliament. The tables having turned by the end of 2012, PM Victor Ponta said he was backing shale gas exploration and might consider exploitation.

Chevron was granted a local authorization to drill and build a drilling site in Barlad, Romania although the local population heavily protested against it. Public referendums in Constanta county related to shale gas exploration never got through as less than 50% plus 1 of the local population showed up to voting. Hence Chevron got the green light and further protests melted away.

Chevron considers natural gas as an efficient energy source and the cleanest-burning fossil fuel. Natural gas extracted from dense shale rock formations has become the fastest-growing source of gas in the United States and could become a significant new global energy source.

Romania is importing almost a third of its natural gas resources from Gazprom through subcontractors at rates much higher than its own natural gas resources. Shale gas extraction is among the priorities of the Government in office despite civil society opposition.

Related posts:

EU Revolving Doors / Günther Verheugen, Honoris Causa in Romania. Go Frack Yourself, Activists Said

About Cristina Popa

Cristina is a WordPress blogger who regularly writes or shares updates on media, public affairs and various topics of interest. You may follow her on Communication for Development WP blog or Twitter @CristinaPopa0
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7 Responses to Chevron Fracks Open Communication on Shale Gas with Romanian Government

  1. They are going to start and extract Gas from the rocks here soon in the UK as the government has given the go ahead for ‘Fracking’ here.. Unfortunately Fracking is also a contributing factor to earth-quakes.. You need only take a look in the USA at the amount of problems and sink-holes its causing… ( I think even if the protesters were stronger governments already have their minds made up for them as Big Corporations have their ways and means to sway local government in promises of other resources to enhance their decision making )

    It worries alot of those here in the Midlands where coal mines have now been shut but underground is a web of underground tunnels, some of which are already collapsing and leaving cracks and holes on the surface.. To start fracking in these areas is asking for trouble..
    A very indepth post! :

    • Cristina P. says:

      Thanks for stopping by. Yes, it is very true. Romanians are also very worried about seismic implications. Some 8,000 people protested heavily last month and last year but it’s all down to politics and Chevron got the green light for exploration only. It might soon get the exploitation permit too despite public opposition. The problem is, protesters are only useful when they play along politicians’ plans, when they stray away it’s as if they never existed.

      • I totally agree with you.. But I see a day coming very soon when people will be saying to the politicians enough is enough and that day is looming ever nearer as more and more open their eyes and hearts! …
        Keep up your wonderful Blog for you care and are contributing to making a difference ..
        Enjoy your weekend

  2. Cristina P. says:

    Thank you, I do hope so, although people forget and forgive inconsistency quite easily these days/parts. Have a nice weekend!

  3. Fracking is huge business here in Texas. Great post! Thanks.

  4. Pingback: Чиста България » Румъния без мораториум върху проучванията за шистов газ, масови протести на 4 април

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