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Lithuania Plans New Tender for Shale-Gas Rights on Chevron Exit

Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Lithuania plans a new tender for shale hydrocarbon exploration rights and will revise licensing terms after Chevron Corp. withdrew as sole bidder from a previous contest.

The Lithuanian Geology Service was instructed by a tender commission “to assess the changed legal and tax environment and present the documents to organize a new tender,’ Vice Environment Minister Daiva Matoniene said today in a statement on the ministry’s website in Vilnius, the capital. The rights for the sale are to explore and produce shale hydrocarbons in the western Lithuanian region of Silute-Taurage.

The Baltic nation wants to know if its shale resources are sufficient to be an alternative to energy imports from Russia. U.S. energy company Chevron abandoned its bid for exploration rights on Oct. 8, put off by regulatory and tax issues, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius said at the time.

‘‘This is a good decision,” Economy Minister Valentinas Mazuronis said in the same statement. “Refusing to explore for shale gas or oil would be unfair to Lithuania as a whole.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Bryan Bradley in Vilnius at bbradley13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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