Romania lifts freeze placed on Lukoil over probe

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Russian crude producer Lukoil says Romanian authorities have lifted a freeze on its assets and activity that was placed as a result of a probe into tax evasion and money laundering worth 230 million euros ($290 million).

Lukoil said Tuesday that its Petrotel refinery in Romania was preparing to resume operations after a court ruled that a freeze place last week on its bank accounts, assets and refining activities could be lifted. The probe, however, continues.

Moldova gets gas from Romania through new pipeline

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A new pipeline has been opened that will pump gas from Romania to Moldova in an attempt to reduce the former Soviet republic's dependence on Russian energy.

The prime ministers of the two countries inaugurated the pipeline Wednesday. Moldova's Iurie Leanca said it means "we can be sure that nobody can create problems for us or threaten us."

Chevron begins drilling for shale gas in Romania

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — U.S. oil company Chevron says it has begun drilling for shale gas at its exploration well site in northeastern Romania, a project which has drawn protests from local residents.

The company said the drilling, which will probe to a depth of 4,000 meters (13,000 feet), started Tuesday after "safety and performance checks" had been completed and rock samples will be taken to determine if natural gas is present.

US oil company resumes exploration in Romania

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — U.S. oil company Chevron says it has resumed exploration for shale gas in northeastern Romania a day after suspending work when hundreds of anti-fracking protesters tore down fences.

Chevron resumes search for shale gas in Romania

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — U.S. oil giant Chevron has resumed its search for shale gas in northeastern Romania amid ongoing opposition from local residents.

In October, Chevron suspended searching for shale gas in the village of Pungesti following protests in the capital and the local area against fracking.

The company said Monday its priority was to "conduct these activities in a safe and environmentally responsible manner." It gained permits to drill exploratory wells in Pungesti in October but halted activity after protests. On Monday, hundreds of police blocked a road to stop residents demonstrating.

Chevron halts Romania shale gas search after protests

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Chevron said Thursday it has suspended searching for shale gas in northeast Romania following protests in the capital and the local area against fracking.

Police stop anti-fracking protest against Chevron in Romania

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Hundreds of Romanians opposed to shale gas extraction in their village on Wednesday scuffled with police at an exploration site where energy giant Chevron plans to start drilling.

Romanian PM: No support for gold mine

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's prime minister predicted Monday that Parliament will reject plans for Canadian-run gold mine following large protests over the cyanide used in its extraction process.

Romanian energy chief fired for 'arrogance'

The prime minister has fired the head of the national energy regulator for "arrogant" comments, saying they showed he was out of touch with ordinary people.

Victor Ponta said Thursday he fired Petre Lificiu after the official dismissed a five percent increase in electricity prices as insignificant.

Romania vows moratorium on shale gas extraction

Romania's new left-leaning government has pledged a moratorium on shale gas exploitation and will review a controversial Canadian plan to build Europe's largest open-cast gold mine.

Prime Minister-designate Victor Ponta also said he will respect commitments to the International Monetary Fund and increase public sector wages that were slashed by 25 percent in 2010 to meet the terms of a €20 billion($26 billion) IMF-led loan.


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