Lithuania Lawmakers Urge Probe of Chevron Unit, Shale-Gas Freeze

A Lithuanian parliamentary committee called for a moratorium on shale-gas exploration in the Baltic nation as well as a legal investigation of a local company that’s half owned by Chevron Corp.

“The government should halt shale-gas exploration and production until competent European Union institutions give an opinion” on the safety of related technologies, the Environmental Protection Committee said today in a statement on the website of the legislature in Vilnius, the capital.

It should also check the legality of agreements that LL Investicijos UAB has concluded with landowners and make sure prosecutors “defend the public interest” with regard to the oil and gas recovery company’s activities, the committee said.

Chevron, a U.S. energy company, last year bought 50 percent of LL Investicijos and in January submitted the only bid in a tender for shale-gas exploration rights in Lithuania.

President Dalia Grybauskaite this week said that Chevron’s plans were important for helping the country find out how far its shale-gas reserves can go as an alternative to Russian natural gas.

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