Moratorium put on Czech shale gas
London, 4 September (Argus) — The Czech environment ministry has placed a temporary moratorium on shale gas exploration.
The government is expected to pass the moratorium in the middle of October, environment minister Tomas Chalupa said.
“It is necessary to analyse the current legal framework that covers the exploration and production of unconventional natural gas resources and propose legislation to reflect the currently used technologies and their impact on the environment,” Chalupa said.
The moratorium could be lifted when the laws and level of technology reach an acceptable level of harm to the environment, the ministry said, citing pollution and strains to water systems caused by hydraulic fracturing.
Exploration of the Czech Republic's shale gas reserves has been relatively slow, particularly compared with Poland, amid significant opposition to hydraulic fracturing.
The Czech government in April withdrew Basgas Energia Czech's licence for the Trutnovsko, Nachodsko and Broumovsko exploration concession. Basgas Energia Czech is a subsidiary of UK-based Hutton Energy.
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