Romanian court rejects local councils’ decision to ban shale gas prospecting

A decision by several local councils in the Vaslui County to ban exploration and exploitation of shale gas within their jurisdiction has been reversed by the Vaslui Court following a complaint lodged by the country prefecture.

Vaslui County, in eastern Romania, on the border with the Republic of Moldova, is the territory where large shale gas deposits have been found and where the American company Chevron is currently drilling to assess the volume of the exploitable gas. Barlad, the town which is the closest to the drilling areas, has seen one of the largest anti-shale gas protests in Romania over the past year.

Vaslui Prefecture has based its complaint on an article in the Romanian Constitution regarding the country’s natural resources and filed it only after the local council refused to annul their decision. The article says such resources belong to the state and, therefore, local authorities have no authority to decide in this case.

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(Photo: wcn247/