Total hopes French govt will change its mind on shale gas – CEO

29 August 2012 17:23  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Total hopes that the French government will change its mind and allow shale gas exploration in the country, the CEO of the France-based energy and petrochemicals major said on Wednesday.

France last year banned the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) - a technology used in shale gas exploration - because of environmental risks.

In a webcast interview with media group RTL, Total CEO Christophe de Margerie said the company hopes that the new government under President Francois Hollande, who was elected in May, will revise that decision.

Shale gas exploration and production would be in France’s national interest, de Margerie said.

In the current difficult economic situation, and with questions about nuclear power, it would be a pity not to take advantage of an opportunity to develop shale gas, which is environmentally cleaner than oil and coal, he said.

However, he added that shale gas exploration did pose environmental problems which needed to be addressed.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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