Mr Mazuronis: resistance to the exploration of the shale gas and oil increasingly resembles actions directed against the Lithuanian interests2013-09-05
A tender for exploration and extraction of shale gas and oil was published on 25 June 2012, based on a resolution of the Government. The tender was intended to select a company, that is both financially and technologically most competent to invest into exploration and extraction of both shale gas and oil in Šilutė-Tauragė and Kudirka-Kybartai areas.
The international tender published by the Geological Survey was open to any company throughout the world wishing to engage in exploration and extraction of shale hydrocarbons; however, Chevron, a US company, appeared the only one interested to take part.
According to the National Strategy on Energy Independence approved by the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania, Lithuania will support exploration of shale gas in the country and will support economically viable shale gas extraction and import in consistency with environmental principles. While exercising exploration and extraction of shale gas, the interests of the State, land owners and energy companies engaged will be taken into account.
The Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania and the Ministry of Environment, responding to the concerns expressed by local population and politicians alike regarding potential effect on the environment or human health, have introduced stricter provisions in the laws and subordinate legislation governing exploration and extraction of gas, and have established a special division in charge of monitoring gas extraction works. The laws also provided for mandatory coordination of both exploration and extraction with the local population and procedures to implement said coordination.
I am certain that exploration or extraction of any natural resources must be carried out without prejudice to the environment, human health and based on agreement with the local population only. We now have legislative framework in place to ensure the process.
One the above works are started, they must also be completed. We must complete also the international tender for exploration of shale gas and oil, published on behalf of the State. Any natural resources would first benefit local population, with Lithuania also profiting ultimately. For this reason, any interruption in the process can be of use to hostile foreign countries and is directed against population living in the regions to be used for prospective exploration of gas or oil and ultimately against the Lithuanian interests.
Public Information Division