Hungarian MOL plans to carry out gas exploration in Őriszentpéter, located in the protected natural area of Őrség, Western Hungary, which sparked heated debates in the past weeks due to concerns over the project’s environmental impact and noise pollution. MOL said it complies with all requirements but suspended the permitting process, promising to consult with residents.
In 2017, MOL won a public tender to carry out exploration for hydrocarbons in the Natura 2000 area of Őrség under strict conditions. The investment is still in a preparatory phase and MOL said that they have halted the permitting process to consult with residents as well after the National Park and the Municipality.
MOL clarified in a press statement that contrary to inaccurate interpretations that aired in the past weeks, they are looking for natural gas in the area, not oil. The company emphasised that in Hungary every second household is heated with natural gas and MOL provides 50 per cent of the population’s gas consumption.
MOL underlined that they comply with all legal and Natura 2000 requirements and promised to take precautions to reduce the noise during the construction phase. As the gas is transported through underground pipelines, after the expected 1-month construction work, residents won’t experience any disturbing noise or truck traffic in the area, reads the press release.
“MOL is working for Hungary’s energy supply and a more sustainable future at the same time,” said Zsombor Marton, Director of Exploration and Production at MOL Hungary.
He pointed out that MOL is committed to becoming a carbon-neutral company by 2050, and spending more than half of its revenue from exploration and production on sustainability projects.
Mr Zsombor underlined that sustainability is also a key element of MOL’s updated strategy. The group plans to invest one billion US dollars in new, low-carbon and sustainable businesses in the next five years to become a key player in Central and Eastern Europe’s circular economy. This shift will be financed by revenues from traditional businesses.
“We plan to shift towards a circular economy and we will finance this process from the traditional businesses […]. We have ambitious goals and we want to set an example for other industry players as well,” said Mr Marton.