Bulgaria: Socialist Political Opponents Seek to Revoke Chevron Shale Deal

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Political opponents to the government of Prime Ministers Boyko Borisov’s Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party are seizing upon the issue of shale gas development.

Earlier this week, a proposal to implement a moratorium on shale gas development by the by the far-right nationalist Ataka party was voted down by the Bulgarian Parliament.

Ataka leader Volen Shopov derided Borisov in Parliament calling on him to: “Give Chevron back their bribe, if you took one.”

Chevron Corp. won a tender for a shale gas deposit in northeastern Bulgaria, offering the government 30-million-euros to explore a concession in a large section of Dobrudzha, in the north east of the country.

Now, the Bulgarian Socialist Party has tabled a draft bill envisaging a ban on shale gas exploration and production and revoking award to Chevron.

The left-wing party said that it is following the path of its French socialist brethren and their experience with successfully imposing a ban on hydraulic fracturing.

Under the draft bill, the government is required to table annual reports on the exploration and production of hydrocarbon liquids and gases, the methods used in the process and their impact on the environment by March 30.

Companies that have already conducted shale gas exploration and production activities with or without a permit must submit detailed reports with the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism within one month of the law’s entry into force.

The Socialists had made reconsideration of shale gas activities a key party of their platform in the October 23rd presidential election, which saw their candidate, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister Ivaylo Kalfin go down to defeat.  Kalfin has pledged to initiate a national referendum on shale gas drilling and production in Bulgaria.

The small, conservative party Order, Law and Justice (RZS) has also proposed legislation banning shale gas drilling.

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Posted on November 28, 2011, in Natural Gas and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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