On Monday we reported on anti-Fracking protests in Romania that saw coordinated rallies in over 60 cities around Romania, as well as several cities outside the country. Today we have the displeasure to report that Chevron is set to begin shale gas exploration (Fracking, or fracturare hidraulica gaze de sist) in Pungesti later this month.
This is of course what we expected to hear would happen. Chevron was able to gain protection from protesters through a combination of private security forces, and national police (Gendarmerie), that kept any effective protest from being waged since December. And, as we’ve reported before, fracking operations are being set up all around Romania despite the growing protest movement.
According to news reports I’ve found, Chevron will spend 3 months drilling an exploratory well and take soil samples for analysis. Those samples will tell them what fracking techniques to use, or whether the shale deposit is worthy of exploitation.
Chevron to start shale gas exploration in Romania’s Pungesti this month, protests continue in the area: Drilling will start within two-three weeks – at the latest that means April 30. Drilling will take 90 days, and they’ll take soil samples.
On April 8, activists gathered in front of the site for another protest. They also chanted slogans like “Water, air and nature, not fracking, not cyanide,” or “Romania is our country, Chevron will never poison it.”
Chevron organized an “Open Day” for journalists to visit the site. Activists pelted the bus carrying the journalists with stones and eggs.
Chevron Official: shale gas exploration in Pungesti will start in two to three weeks: This report on mediafax.ro is the source for the above reporting. In addition to the above information, it says that for the last four months (since December), Chevron has been preparing the drilling platform. That work has been completed.
The incident where protesters pelted the journalists bus with eggs and stones occurred at the entrance to Silestia, a town neighboring Pungesti. The drilling site is between those two villages. Police and Gendarmerie watched the incident take place, then removed the protesters from the road.
Chevron has three other agreements for shale gas (fracking) exploration in nearby locations – Puiesti, Hohe Rinne – Bacesti and Popeni – Gagesti. A “building permit” was recently granted for a drilling platform near Puiesti, in a location 1.4 miles from the nearest town and 300 meters from Tutova creek.
“Pungesti. Status of necessity” and “ambitious” Eduard Novak, file folder Romania This is a TV show looking closely at the situation in Pungesti, and showing how Chevron and the government are ramrodding this through despite local opposition.
Protests in the capital and several cities against shale gas: Reports on last weekends protest rallies.
Coach journalists attacked with stones and eggs at Pungesti: Discusses the incident with protesters pelting the journalists bus with stones and eggs. Says the protesters kept protesting around the perimeter throughout the visit. It also included the image shown here, which demonstrates the visit wasn’t exactly calm and peaceful. Instead the protesters made sure their presence was known to the journalists.
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