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Chevron has suspended exploration for shale gas in northeastern Romania after several anti-fracking protests

Court of Auditors: Chevron left Romania leaving unpaid debts behind

In 2013, US oil giant Chevron has suspended the drilling activities for shale gas in northeastern Romania, culminating with violent protests, but not without financial consequences. According to Court of Auditors’ report, Chevron left Romania leaving unpaid debts behind.

This means the counter value of outstanding works that the US oil company had undertaken to execute them following the concession agreement signed with the National Agency for Mineral Resources (ANRM).

According to the Petroleum Law, the counter value should have been transferred to the state budget in case of concession waiver.

Court of Auditors’ report does not specify the owed amount.

Petroleum Law no. 238 of 2004 stipulates that the holders of the petroleum agreements who concession exploration and exploitation state-owned blocks may waive the oil agreements signed with Romania if they meet several conditions.

One of this is “to provide the competent authority (ed. note ANRM) the amount representing the equivalent value of the works provided in the work program agreed under the petroleum agreement, due on the date of relinquishment of the concession and which were not carried out due to title holder’s fault shall, be remitted to the State’s budget within 90 days from the date of the cessation of the concession.” But this did not happen.

The requirement is also stipulated in three oil concession agreements signed by Chevron with the ANRM for Adamclisi, Vama Veche and Costinesti blocks.

On the other hand, Court of Auditors shows that in some cases, “ANRM has stood passively” and has not proceeded to take legal measures due to holder’s failure to carry out the minimum volume of works for the given period.

Also, some agreements concluded by the Romanian state with oil companies in the field, did not include provisions regarding the obligation of setting up guarantees for the value of works to be performed, provided in the minimum program and additional work program agreed with ANRM.

About Anca Bernovici