New Romania Govt Wants Moratorium On Shale Gas



BUCHAREST - Romania's new government will seek a moratorium on shale gas drilling, putting on hold plans by U.S. oil giant Chevron Corp. to tap reserves in eastern and southern Romania.

"An immediate moratorium will be placed on shale gas exploitation until European studies underway regarding the impact of hydraulic fracturing on the environment are finalized," the new government's economic program released Friday reads.

Prime Minister-designate Victor Ponta is expected to win a parliament vote of confidence on his cabinet line-up and its program Monday. Ponta has repeatedly criticized the outgoing government's green light to shale gas exploration.

Companies including Chevron, Canada's Sterling Resources Ltd. and Hungary's MOL Nyrt. plan to tap the reserves.

Chevron has a concession on 600,000 hectares in the eastern Barlad area and three others in the southeast Dobroudja region, near the Bulgarian border.



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