“First we are talking about the gas Exxon and OMV discovered and will start exploring in 3-4-5 years. Great Britain has already made these explorations official. If we allow explorations for schist gas and it is found, the first cubic meter will be out in five years. Poland uses schist gas with 80 dollars/1,000 cu.m., while we import gas from Gazprom at 450 dollars. I want my Oltchim to be competitive with the Polish company,” Ponta said at Realitatea TV.
He added that the US have become gas exporters from importers by using schist gas.
Romania is trying to find new energy sources to reduce its dependence on natural gas from Russia and to compensate the natural decline of the domestic production from traditional sources. Besides the potential resources which could be exploited in future by OMV Petrom and Exxon Mobil in the Black Sea, Chevron obtained schist gas exploration license last year.
The extraction method by hydraulically fracturing schist rocks is controversial and aroused protests in Romania too.Following its investment in May, the Ponta government imposed a moratorium on schist gas extraction until the completion of European studies about the impact of hydraulic fracturing on the environment.In June premier Ponta declared that the government wanted to postpone decisions on schist gas until after parliamentary elections.
Chevron owns in Romania an exploration/exploitation area in Barlad and three areas in Constanta county. The former government approved in March, three oil concession accords for exploration-development-exploitation concluded between the National Agency for Mining Resources and Chevron for the Constanta county areas – Vama Veche, Adamclisi and Costinesti.