When Slovenia joined the European Union (EU) in 2004, it became subject to EU regulations including its environmental regulations. In addition, Slovenia retained its own laws and regulations governing hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation. The Petišovci joint venture therefore is subject to both sets of regulations.
In Slovenia, oil and gas exploration and exploitation is regulated by:
The Mining Inspectorate receives full disclosure from the partners about all of its operations and it regularly inspects the site and operations to confirm that these comply with the relevant government and EU regulations.
The decisions of these two Inspectorates are a matter of public record and the decisions they have published in respect of the Petišovci project confirm that operations fully meet the required standards.
On 22 January 2014 the European Commission issued a ‘Commission Recommendation’ on ‘minimum principles’ to be adopted by member states for regulating high volume hydraulic stimulation. For the purposes of the Recommendation ‘high volume’ means injecting 1000 m3 or more of water per stage or 10,000 m3 or more of water during the entire hydraulic stimulation process.
These recommendations include, amongst others, the preparation of strategic environmental assessments, conducting of risk assessments to ensure the safety of ground water, the employment of best practices by operators including water management plans and providing certain information on hydraulic stimulation operations.
Member states are invited to put these Commission Recommendations into practice within 6 months and report annually to the EC on their progress.