Bulgaria rejects shale gas

Central Europe Briefs

News | Vienna Review | March 2012

Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov refused to bow to U.S. pressure to lift the country’s ban on shale gas exploration,
according to news platform EurActiv.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used an official visit to Sofia, Bulgaria, to urge the country’s leaders to endorse shale gas, weeks after Bulgaria had banned explorations due to environmental concerns.

While Clinton argued that domestic shale gas could help Bulgaria escape its dependence on Russian gas exports, it is understood that the U.S. energy giant Chevron holds key patents in the industry.

Shale gas – natural gas trapped in tight layers of shale stone – can be exploited only with a technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", which is widely used in the U.S., but is facing growing resistance in Europe over its potential environmental impact.

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