Chevron has notified the Lithuanian government of its plans to withdraw from the tender on the use of hydrocarbon resources, the government’s press service said in a press release. The measure is due to fiscal, legislative and regulatory changes in the country.
“Significant changes to the fiscal, legislative and regulatory climate in Lithuania have substantially impacted the operational and commercial basis of the investment decision since the company submitted its bid in January 2013,” Chevron said in a statement issued on the 8th of October.
“Because of the changing regulatory and legislative landscape, Chevron believes that its business interests in Lithuania are best served focusing on our existing investment in the Rietavas block,” it reads.
After more than half a year of discussions among politicians, scientists and local communities, the Environment Ministry in mid-September recommended that the government should name Chevron, the unique bidder, the winner of the tender for shale gas exploration in the Šilutė-Tauragė field.
The Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament) in late May passed legislative amendments setting the regulatory framework for shale gas exploration and extraction in the country.
Some lawmakers also proposed to levy a 40 per cent tax on shale gas and to apply a uniform basic 25 per cent rate on crude oil and gas.
Chevron in June launched oil exploration in the village of Stemples, in the western Lithuanian district of Šilutė, through LL Investicijos, a local oil company in which Chevron holds a 50 per cent stake.