Chevron resumes shale work in Romania

Updated 08 December 2013
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Chevron resumes shale work in Romania

PUNGESTI, Romania: Chevron said it has resumed activities to build its first shale gas exploration well in Romania, a day after protests forced the US energy giant to suspend work.
“Chevron can confirm that it has resumed activities in Pungesti commune,” in northeastern Romania, the company said in a statement.
On Saturday, hundreds of protesters, mainly villagers from Pungesti, broke through wire mesh fences around Chevron’s site to protest against its plans to drill for shale gas.
Chevron was forced to suspend its activities for the second time in this rural Romanian village where nonstop protests have been staged for more than six weeks.
Residents oppose the highly controversial drilling technique used to extract shale gas known as “hydraulic fracturing” or “fracking”.
Widely used in some US states such as Pennsylvania and North Dakota, it has been banned in France and Bulgaria because of the risks of water and air pollution.
A study this year by Duke University in the US state of North Carolina showed that fracking increases the risk of contaminated drinking water.
Across Romania, thousands have taken to the streets to protest against shale gas over the past three months.
Last Monday, Romanian riot police forcibly removed protesters from a makeshift camp next to Chevron’s drilling site in Pungesti.
Greenpeace slammed the operation as “a serious abuse against the freedom of expression”.


IMF hopes Lebanon parliament will approve budget ASAP-finance ministry

Updated 52 min 40 sec ago
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IMF hopes Lebanon parliament will approve budget ASAP-finance ministry

BEIRUT: An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to Lebanon said it hoped its parliament would approve the draft 2019 state budget as soon as possible, the Lebanese finance ministry said in a statement.
The head of the IMF mission, Chris Jarvis, hoped “parliament would as soon as possible approve the budget in which work happened to reduce the deficit to 7.6% (of GDP), which will help release funds that Lebanon needs from the Cedre conference,” said the finance ministry statement, which was issued in Arabic.
Donor states and institutions pledged some $11 billion in financing to Lebanon at the Cedre conference in Paris last year, conditional on the country undertaking long-delayed reforms.