Manifestation against shale gas exploration in Western Romania

More than 1 000 people gathered on Saturday at the Cultural Hall in the city of Curtici (Arad County) to manifest again gas fracking in the area.
The action comes a few days after Panfora Oil & Gas, a MOL Group subsidiary dedicated to the exploration and production activities in Romania announced that contracted Prospecţiuni SA, the most experienced Romanian company in geophysical prospecting, to operate surface area measuring in the so-called EX-6 area in Western Romania, to identify conventional hydrocarbon resources.
The residents of the city situated in the area and locals from neighboring communes are afraid that the prospecting would include shale gas too.
“This is not a political action and anybody is welcome to join” mayor Nicolae Aaniţei said from the stage, surrounded by eight other mayors and the director of the Curtici Agroindustrial Plant, Dimitrie Muscă.
The 14th richest Romanian farmer according to Capital business paper, Muscă is one the biggest opponents of the hydraulic fracturing.
The organizers of the action invited all the twelve localities from the 550 square kilometers area to demonstrate and the local councils to ban shale gas exploration.
A similar decision of the Curtici Local Council was canceled by the Arad Court last November.
After watching a film about the possible negative effects of shale gas exploration, the crowd marched to the City Hall, waving national flags and slogans against gas fracking.
A few hours after the manifestation, Panfora Oil & Gas issued a statement to ensure residents that “had never planned and will not run any operations related to shale gas” in the area, adding that (as already said last July) is ready to sign a commitment with local authorities and all involved parties regarding the matter.

Photo by Florin Peiţa