10 November 2013, News Wires – Chevron said it had filed a civil lawsuit against protesters in Poland who have prevented the US supermajor from reaching a site where it plans to explore for shale gas.
Local people occupied the site near the village of Zurawlow, about 260 kilometres south-east of the Polish capital, when contractors started trying to erect a fence.
Chevron said it filed the action on the grounds that the protesters were violating its lawful right of access to the site, one of four shale gas exploration concessions the company has in Poland.
“While we respect the rights of individuals to express their opinions, it should be done within the law. We believe that the views expressed by a small group of people do not reflect views of the majority of residents” in the region around the site, Chevron said, according to a Reuters report.
The protesters say Chevron has not adequately consulted with local residents and that its drilling will damage the environment.
Chevron says it is committed to operating in a safe and responsible way and is bringing benefits to communities where it operates.
In neighbouring Romania, Chevron had to suspend work at another planned shale gas exploration well after local people blocked the site.