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March 23, 2023

Senate approves shale gas exploitation through hydraulic fracturing

The Senate on Wednesday rejected a draft law forbidding the hydraulic fracturing exploration of gas or liquid hydrocarbons, as well as cancelling the exclusive authorizations to explore the projects using this method, Mediafax reports.
The bill, initiated by PPDD deputy Tudor Ciuhodaru and debated by the Senate as the first chamber notified in this case, stipulates that the hydraulic fracturing method used to explore gas or liquid hydrocarbons should be forbidden on Romania’s territory and on the Black Sea territorial platform.
Tudor Ciuhodaru said during the general debates held in the plenum that Romania has no normative act regulating the shale gas exploration and exploitation, but it does not ban this type of works.
“You promised the Romanians that this project will not become a reality as long as you rule the country. The Pungesti inhabitants are standing before the Senate requesting you to say no to shale gas exploration,” he also told the senators. In his turn, PNL senator Dan Popescu said this legislative draft has to be rejected as its provisions are also forbidding the traditional shale gas exploitation.
“The hydraulic fracturing has been used as early as since the interwar period, it is also used nowadays. The harmful substances you are talking about, such as potassium cyanide or caustic soda, are used on a daily basis. This law is blocking the exploitation of gas and oil also through conventional methods,” the Liberal senator warned.
Former PM Mihai Razvan Ungureanu said that if this current majority had acted the same as regards the prospecting of the shale gas exploration at the end of last year, his Cabinet would not have been forced to step down.
“It’s never too late for a politician to realize that Romania’s strategic interest is also related to this matter and I am glad, although there was a delay of a year and a half, that this problem is being discussed in the most serious terms, exactly how I believed it should be approached when I was prime minister,” he said.
The Senate debated the legislative initiative in its capacity of the first notified chamber. While the senators were debating this bill, about 20 protesters were protesting in front of the Senate’s headquarters against shale gas exploration through hydraulic fracturing.

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