ABERDEEN--Chevron is reviewing its seven-figure European PR assignment amid opposition to its controversial plans to step up 'fracking' in the region.

The Holmes Report understands that the energy giant has initiated an online procurement-led review of the account, which is currently handled by global incumbent Edelman.

In Europe, Chevron is eyeing particular growth from a major expansion in shale gas exploration. A 'shale boom' is already underway in the US, where it now contributes to a third of America's gas supplies.

Accordingly, the company is exploring millions of acres of land in Eastern Europe and won a major shale gas contract in Ukraine earlier this year. The US Energy Information Administration estimates that the levels of recoverable shale gas resources in Europe are almost as high as North America.

A source familiar with the review said that Chevron requires considerable public relations support in Brussels and the countries in which it hopes to extract.

Opposition to the controversial process of 'fracking', by which shale gas is released from rocks, remains persistent. France and Bulgaria have already banned the practice because of fears over contaminated groundwater, with the latter country canceling a licence that it had awarded to Chevron.

Romania has put shale gas exploration on hold, while the Czech Republic is considering a similar move.

Last year, a series of small earthquakes rocked the English county of Lancashire, site of a shale drilling site. Chevron, like other oil companies, insists that fracking is safe and has said it has no plans to scale back its European activity.

There are also, furthermore, concerns over property rights and population density in Europe.

In addition to its shale gas interests,  Chevron has a variety of oil and gas operations in the western region of the Shetland Basin, the Norwegian Barents Sea and the North Sea. 

Chevron did not respond to request for comment as this story went live.