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Ohio Utica Shale

Romania ends moratorium on shale exploration

By Bob Downing Published: March 21, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

Romania ended a moratorium on shale gas exploration in a bid to boost domestic energy resources and curb reliance on fuel imports from Russia.

It may take four to five years to assess potential volumes, Prime Minister Victor Ponta said in an interview broadcast live on Adevarul’s website. Exploration will start in Vaslui in the east and may extend to the southeastern county of Constanta.

“The moratorium ended in December and hasn’t been extended,” Ponta said in his first public announcement of the decision. “If shale gas is found in Romania, I’m convinced that technology will advance so much in four or five years that it will practically ensure the release of all the regular environmental permits.”

The extraction of shale gas requires hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which involves blasting rock with water, sand and chemicals to open up fissures. Concerns among environmental groups, regulators and landowners that fracking may contaminate water have led France and Bulgaria to ban the practice. Chevron Corp. (CVX) of the U.S. owns exploration licenses in Romania.

Ponta’s cabinet imposed the moratorium last May pending the completion of European environmental studies. The drilling technique is already employed in the U.S., allowing the country to surpass Russia as the biggest gas producer.

Chevron plans to start the search for shale resources at its Barlad concession, according to a report in Ziarul Financiar. Greenpeace last year threatened to sue the government for allowing the company to explore for shale gas, citing potential harm to the environment and local residents.



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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.