While the Romanian Government is over enthused with the utopia of shale gas granting energy independence although exploited by foreign companies, all that glitters is not gold or gas.
I was asking on LinkedIn some weeks ago the reasons behind so many American companies looking for exploration and exploitation leases on Romanian soil bearing in mind that US states like Texas have rich resources. One Texan oil and gas professional answered that companies interested in working abroad have assets that need to be put to work but these may depend upon the ease of doing business, their costs associated with that business, and maybe more importantly the logistics involved to supply and support their work.
This work isn’t something they enter into on a whim and a variety of factors must be met before they can move forward. So yes, of course this is not something done on a whim and there’s nothing whimsical in engaging in shale gas explorations lasting some 5 years before turning to exploitation and actually not even being sure that the country you’re doing business in might prolong the shale gas moratorium or not. There are expectations related to your ROI eventually. And you, as a foreign company, might actually expect a shale gas moratorium or ban in your own state and decide to turn your business elsewhere.
Consequently, it seemed most interesting to read a recent article over persistent legal attempts to enforce a shale gas moratorium in California, for instance. An Assembly committee on Monday advanced three bills that would halt shale gas fracking in California for the foreseeable future and the novelty of these is that they call for a shale gas moratorium in order to allow more time on investigating the impact of hydraulic fracturing on the environment. As the third oil-producing state after Texas and North Dakota, California is a key actor in shale gas resources too. As such, lawmakers advancing such proposals have highlighted the lack of regulation and oversight in fracking safety.
Well, Romania has definitely no legal grounding for shale gas exploitation and no particular oversight for the fracking technology too! Shouldn’t the Romanian Senate or Chamber of Deputies replicate at least the pending bills from the American Senate given the fact that we’re so over the moon with a fracking technology we really don’t know anything about than what we’re led to believe?