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France withdraws shale gas permits from Schuepbach, Total

The French government has withdrawn two permits for shale gas exploration from Schuepbach Energy LLC, Dallas, and one permit from France’s Total SA, all involving sites in southwestern France.

“We have decided to abrogate the three research permits,” Ecology Minister Nathalie Koscisko-Morizet told Agence France-Presse in a news story published Oct. 3. She said Schuepbach failed to submit plans for drilling using alternate methods than hydraulic fracturing within a 2-month deadline. Schuepbach’s plans mentioned fracing.

Total’s plan did not mention fracing, but French officials found the plan “not credible,” she told AFP.

No comment was immediately available to OGJ from Schuepbach or Total.

French lawmakers in June voted against fracing, which has raised public concerns about possible contamination of drinking water (OGJ Online, Apr. 22, 2011).

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