The commission would make the decision on September 16, Daiva Matonienė, Deputy Environment Minister and the commission’s chairwoman, told reporters on Friday.
The decision had been postponed at Chevron’s request, she said adding that the courts were still hearing the disputes relating to the tender.
“The disputes relating to the tender are ongoing, in particular, Perkūno Nafta has contested the decision not to announce this company the winner of the tender. As far as Chevron is concerned, the decision has been postponed until September 16 so as to provide more time for drafting all secondary legislation, i.e. the legal acts accompanying the Underground Law. They [Chevron] asked to provide more time to study the entire legal environment,” Matonienė said after the commission’s meeting.
The commission also took into account opposition of the public to shale gas extraction, she said adding that, personally, she was willing to announce the winner this Friday.
“The Commission considered all aspects, including the societal environment, opposition of the public. It also considered the requests of the investors. As far as my personal opinion is concerned, I disagreed since I wanted to announce the winner today. I believe that uncertainty is not good,” Matonienė said.
All secondary legislation should be drafted by September 1, she added.
Meanwhile, Juozas Mockevičius, the director of the Lithuanian Geological Service, said that this decision would not lead to any loss of time.
Privately-owned Perkūno Nafta, which has a yet unnamed UK investor among its partners, submitted a bid to explore for hydrocarbons in the Kudirka-Kybartai field in Western Lithuania. Another bid was submitted by Diseta, a subsidiary of Dutch-registered KS Energy.
Chevron, meanwhile, submitted the sole bid for the right to explore for shale gas and oil in the Šilutė-Tauragė field.