US supermajor Chevron has confirmed it packed up and left a Polish shale prospect that has seen more than a year of protests, but insisted it retained its licence and permission to drill in the area.
Images circulated by campaigners on social media on Friday showed equipment being packed up and removed from the Zurawlow site, but the reasons behind the removal were unclear.
A spokeswoman for Chevron Poland, Marian Sewerski, confirmed the company had removed its equipment from the site, which is situated 260 kilometres south-east of Warsaw.
However she told local newspaper the Courier of Lublin that the company still has a valid license and permit for the location within the Grabowiec concession.
She would not be drawn on the explorer’s plans for the licence, which Chevron secured a two-year extension on at the end of last year.
The explorer took a civil lawsuit against protesters at Zurawlow late last year after they occupied the drill site to prevent a fence being erected around the land.
The Grabowiec permit is one of four shale licences being explored under a joint venture with Polish gas company PGNiG – along with Chevron’s Zwierzyniec and PGNiG’s Tomaszow Lubelski and Wiszniow-Tarnoszyn licences.