Hollande rules out France shale gas exploration during presidency

15 July 2013 11:41  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--French President Francois Hollande has ruled out shale gas exploration in France during his presidency, his office confirmed on Monday.

In a live interview on French television channel TF1, to mark the country's annual Bastille Day holiday on Sunday 14 July, Hollande said: “As long as I am president, there will be no exploration for shale gas in France.”

“The debate on shale gas has gone on for too long,” he added.

Hollande’s comments came prior to a French court examining an appeal by Texas-based Schuepbach Energy against the moratorium on shale gas exploration.

The company held two exploration permits when the ban on “fracking” for the unconventional gas was introduced in 2011.

Although France is thought to hold some of the largest shale gas reserves in Europe, there are objections against exploration for the gas on environmental grounds, with critics claiming it can poison water and cause earth tremors.

America’s shale gas revolution is said by observers to have caused an industrial renaissance with many producers, including petrochemical makers, now able to source comparatively cheap energy.

In March, the CEO of Austria’s OMV, Gerhard Roiss, warned that Europe’s petrochemical industry could be undermined by the shale gas boom in the US and the EU’s failure to adopt a common policy to cover the exploitation of shale gas in member states.

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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