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President rules out shale gas exploration in France

15 July 2013

French president Francois Hollande has ruled out exploration for shale gas during his term on office, ending hopes that a ban on hydraulic fracturing could be reviewed following a legal challenge by a US firm. He said in an interview: “As long as I am president, there will be no exploration for shale gas in France.”

French president Francois Hollande
French president Francois Hollande

France’s highest court said it would examine the challenge to the ban by Schuepbach Energy, which held two exploration permits that were cancelled when the law was passed in 2011.

Many believe tapping France’s potentially large shale gas reserves could revive the ailing French economy. But Mr Hollande insisted that the economy was already in recovery, pointing to a slight recovery in consumption and industrial production.

The International Energy Agency has said France has some of the most plentiful underground reserves of shale gas in Europe.

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