France withdraws shale gas permits

2011-10-03 20:31
Paris - The French government withdrew three permits Monday for shale gas exploration, dampening industry hopes that the controversial method for extracting natural gas would be approved in France.

"We have decided to abrogate the three research permits," Ecology Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet told AFP.

Two permits had been issued to a Dallas-based firm, Schuepbach, and the third to French energy giant Total. All three sites were in the southwest.

French lawmakers voted in June to ban tapping gas from shale rock using a technique called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", which has raised concerns about spills, leaks and contamination of groundwater.

The companies had failed to submit within a two-month deadline convincing plans for exploratory drilling using alternative techniques, Kosciusko-Morizet said.

"In the two Schuepbach reports, the use of hydraulic fracturing was explicitly mentioned," she said.

The Total plan did not allude to fracking but "the argument in [its] report was not credible," she added.

Total had said it would continue searching for "classic sources" of energy but this is a region where the potential for such finds was very limited, according to the minister.

Environmental concerns

"Total announced that it also wants to continue looking for shale gas with techniques that are not hydraulic fracturing but we know today that such technologies are not operational," she said.

Shale gas extraction has boomed in the United States, with thousands of wells drilled across the country in recent years.

Shale gas can be found in dense sedimentary rock which is fractured by water and chemicals that are piped in horizontally under high pressure.

Environmental concerns focus on the perceived risk of groundwater contamination by chemical residues and methane gas, as well as the contribution to the greenhouse effect of gas emissions caused by the fracking process.

Read more on:    total  |  france  |  fracking
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something is blocking the flow of things today and it is easy to become frustrated and pessimistic. The problem is that your mind...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.