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February 25, 2021

Thousands protest against shale gas exploration

Over 8,000 people from several counties of Romania, including priests and politicians, recently protested in Barlad against the exploration and extraction of shale gas in Romania, as the rally concluded with a march on the streets of the town, realitatea.net reports. “All we demanded in this protest-proclamation was to be consulted, as civil society, about this very important matter, the exploration and extraction of shale gas through hydraulic fractioning. According to all consultations and talks we had with experts in the field, things are very serious,” a protester said. The Minister of Economy Varujan Vosganian said Thursday in a press conference that he supports the exploration for shale gas because it will provide information on the resources available to Romania and the potential extraction, using new technologies. An exploration license for shale gas does not mean an extraction license, the delegate minister for Energy, Constantin Nita said yesterday in a specialised press conference, in reaction to the Barlad protest, Mediafax reports. According to the minister, he could not tell, for the time being, why such exploration is not accepted by the public. However, Romania cannot promote shale gas without public acceptance and without correctly informing the population over the benefits and implications of such a resource, and also over the latest technologies used in this process, according to Iulian Iancu, chairman of the Committee for Industries and Services of the Chamber of Deputies, quoted by capital.ro. As for the public concern over the environmental impact of shale gas extraction, Iulian Iancu explained that worries are amplified by certain factors of interest, respectively the oil giants, who try to prevent each other’s access to the market. Chevron plans to begin drilling an exploration well in the shale gas perimeter of Barlad and will initiate seismic studies for the three perimeters of Constanta County.

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