On March 20th, Vlah came with a statement in front of the Executive Committee of Gagauzia, condemning the agreement on oil exploration and exploitation between the Government of Moldova and the American “Frontera Resources”. Gagauzia’s bashkan now seems concerned about the secrecy surrounding the concession and the lack of public debate and expertise before it.
Vlah also has questions about “Frontera Resources”, that is run through off-shore companies (Cayman Islands) and has losses of 20,5 million USD and an annual revenue at about 3,7 million USD. The environmental impact of the exploitation raises concern for the Gagauz leader, who thinks of the methods to extract oil shale as of “barbaric ways”.
Vlah called on the Executive Committee to organize public hearings for discussing in details the impact and risks of the concession for Gagauzia.
The concession agreement signed with Frontera Resources indeed raised questions in the civil society of Moldova, because of the lack of transparency in the listing process, but also due to Frontera’s previous bad reputation and poor performance in countries like Georgia.
The Concession Agreement stipulates that Frontera has the exclusive right to explore for, produce and develop hydrocarbon resources within an are of approximately 3 million acres in southern Moldova. The 50 years agreement include an exploration phase of up to ten years, aside from basic standards provisions on royalty, environmental protection and performance criteria.