French President Rules Out Shale Gas Exploration

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French President Rules Out Shale Gas Exploration

President of France François Hollande ruled out shale gas exploration under his administration, as the country celebrated Bastille Day.

Speaking in a televised broadcast Sunday, Hollande said: "As long as I am president, there will be no shale gas exploration in France."

Hollande also joked: "What is shale gas? It is an Eldorado that just needs to be drilled?"

Hollande added that there was a risk to groundwater due to the hydraulic fracturing techniques used and that "one sees a number of consequences of this in the United States".

France banned exploring for shale gas in 2011 despite the country – along with Poland – having the greatest potential for recoverable shale gas in Europe, according to the International Energy Agency. Schuepbach Energy, which held exploration permits in France that were cancelled as a result of the 2011 ban, recently brought a legal case to challenge the ban in the French courts.

Despite the French ban on fracking the country's leading oil and gas company, Total, is pursuing shale gas opportunities elsewhere in Europe. 

At a recent event held in London that brought together parties interested in unconventional gas from industry and government, a senior executive for France's Total confirmed to Rigzone that the company was looking to invest in shale gas opportunities in the UK. Total is already involved in exploring for shale gas in Poland.



A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at jmainwaring@rigzone.com

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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

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Philippe | Jul. 16, 2013
This decision was to be expected. The government coalition includes the “Green Party”. There are 2 ministers members of the Green Party and last week F. Holland fired the socialist ecology minister for not having a point of view compatible with the government policy. France electricity rates will increase by 5% in August and another 5% in January 2014. Another 5% will be added in January 2015. France electric rates are the cheaper than many European countries. The government subsidizes the power bill of the less affluent population. Since most of the Oil and Gas in imported in France, The cost of these imports will force the government to allow fracking. It will take time, probably when unemployment will reach 15%, it is 11.5% presently. France is not economically competitive versus Germany and many northern Europe countries. The power cost in part of this problem.

jean-francois virlouvet | Jul. 15, 2013
No shale gas ! No nuke ! No cutting trees ! No coal pollution ! Lets go back to the stone age, eat raw meat/fish, go sleep when the sun goes down and get up when it rises. This is Hollandes paradise !

aardvaark | Jul. 15, 2013
What a chump

MrH | Jul. 15, 2013
LMAO!

Robbins Mitchell | Jul. 15, 2013
Well,fine...dont frack,you stupid frog....weve got lots of natural gas here in Texas...and we will be more than happy to sell you all you need...while not worrying about France being a competitor


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