Several hundreds of people were protesting in the village of Silistea-Pungesti in Eastern Romania on Wednesday against plans by US company Chevron to start operating the first shale gas exploration drill in the county of Vaslui, news agency Agerpres reports.

Protesters - some of whom have come from the Barlad, Iasi and other cities in the region of Moldova, Eastern Romania, some of whom are locals from Pungesti - installed tents on the field where Chevron machines are to be deployed. They remained there over night to protest today and said they would not leave the perimeter and would not allow representatives of the US company to come to the area.

On Wednesday afternoon, some 500 people were taking part in the protest. Some locals forced a line of intervention police deployed in the area and managed to reach the perimeter they were not allowed in.

Vaslui county prefect Radu Renga warned that laws must be complied it and that gendarmes have to intervene when public order and traffic on public roads are affected.

The first exploration drill is to be deployed in the close vicinity of the village of Pungesti.

Chevron Romania holds another three certificates for the county of Vaslui to start explorations in order to identify possible shale gas reserves.