Direct Action Forces Chevron To Suspend Drilling
Above photo: Anti-shale gas exploration protesters bring down a fence in Pungesti, north eastern Romania, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Hundreds of villagers destroyed the fences around a plot of land owned by US energy company Chevron, during protests meant to stop shale gas exploration in the area. Photo: Mircea Restea, AP
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — U.S. oil company Chevron has suspended exploration for shale gas in northeastern Romania after hundreds of anti-fracking protesters tore down fences.
Chevron won approval to drill exploratory wells in the town of Pungesti, but halted work for a second time Saturday after residents blocked access to the site.
Hundreds of riot police couldn’t prevent residents from demolishing fences and breaking into the site. Dozens were detained and 14 were charged with destruction of property and carrying knives.
Chevron said it had suspended work “as a result of unsafe conditions” and informed police of destruction to its property.
Thousands of people have rallied across Romania in recent months to protest against government support for shale gas exploration. Chevron had resumed work at the site on Dec. 2.[nggallery id=”101″]