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Talks to Lift Shale Ban Begin in Bulgaria

Iliyana Yotova (Source: ilianaiotova.eu)
Iliyana Yotova (Source: ilianaiotova.eu)

A moratorium against shale gas activity in Bulgaria could be soon lifted following talks in parliament, Bulgarian MEP Iliyana Yotova has said.

The first steps to lifting the ban will reportedly be undertaken today during a council meeting with the Bulgarian president, during which shale gas would be discussed.

"The future of shale gas exploration in Bulgaria is unclear," the Focus News Agency reports Ms. Yotova as saying. "The moratorium is a temporary measure."

Ms. Yotova also intimated today on a statement on her website that Bulgarian Minister for Energy Delian Dobrev may call for the shale moratorium to be lifted as soon as today following the meeting.

"Yesterday I received unofficial information from the country that today, the first Advisory Board under President Plevneliev at the point of energy security of the country will try to withdraw the moratorium, arguing that the moratorium on shale gas studies is preventing [activity in] conventional gas and the preparation for studies at the landfill in Chiren," she said.

"I got this information from experts who obviously were asked in that direction."

A moratorium on shale gas exploration and stimulation has been in effect since January this year, following an overwhelming 166 to 6 votes from MPs to ban the practice until further study had been done. As part of the moratorium, a shale gas licence granted to US company Chevron was revoked.

Chevron has maintained that it will do all it can to alleviate the fears of the Bulgarian people in relation to shale activity and its impact on the environment.

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