Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Lithuanian Supreme Court Authorizes the Use of Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas Exploration

On December 16, 2015, the Supreme Court of Lithuania upheld the constitutionality of the amendment to the Subsoil law permitting the use of hydraulic fracturing for shale gas extraction and also allowed hydraulic fracturing waste to be disposed of underground.

In November 2013, the Chairman of the Parliament’s Committee on Environmental Protection, along with some members of the legislature, argued before the Supreme Court that the amendment’s provisions as to hydraulic fracturing violated the right to environmental protection derived from the Constitution.

According to a media report, the Supreme Court’s decision was followed rapidly “by the news that the American major Chevron will revisit the country’s shale reserves”. In 2012, the Lithuanian government awarded to Chevron a tender for shale gas exploration, but in October 2013 Chevron decided to withdraw its bid due to the nation’s unattractive environmental regulations and tax regime.

Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow


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