SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) -- Bowing to public pressure, Bulgaria's government says U.S. oil company Chevron cannot explore for shale gas there using an environmentally risky technique known as "fracking."
Energy Minister Traicho Traikov said that under Tuesday's decision "Chevron can still have the right to test for oil and gas, but without using the controversial technology of hydraulic fracturing."
The decision has to be approved by Parliament on Wednesday.
He says San Ramon, California-based Chevron had not yet been notified of the decision and negotiations are pending.
Bulgaria awarded the contract in June. It has said Chevron would prepare a five-year project worth €50 million ($72 million) and invest €4 million ($5.8 million) on environment protection.