​The governing program of the government formed by Romania's designated prime minister Victor Ponta, which was submitted in the Parliament on Thursday evening, mentions the immediate introduction of a moratorium on shale gas exploitation until developing European-level studies on the impact of hydraulic fractioning procedures on the environment are concluded. The Ponta Government, formed after incumbent PM Ungureanu's government was voted out of office a week ago, is due to be approved by the Parliament next week.

The moratorium means any activity of shale gas extraction through the controversial hydraulic fracturing procedure would be ceased.

For the moment, Bulgaria and France are the other two European countries which have imposed a similar moratorium. Chevron holds four exploration and exploitation licenses in Romania - all of which are in a stage of exploration for possible deposits.

A working group on the impact of hydraulic fracturing procedures on the environment was formed at European Commission level in January 2012. But the European Commission has decided that there is no need of a European legislation on shale gas, leaving decision making on the use of hydraulic procedures with authorities in each member state.