Schuepbach Energy files appeal in France

The Constitutional Council of France will consider an appeal of France’s ban on shale gas exploration using hydraulic fracturing. Dallas-based Schuepbach Energy LLC, which held two exploration permits in France that were canceled, is contesting the ban.

French officials say the Constitutional Council, made up of judges and former French presidents, is expected to rule in 3 months on the constitutionality of the law banning the use of fracturing, believed necessary to make French unconventional resources commercially viable.

Schuepbach Energy first contested the ban in a court of Cergy-Pontoise near Paris, which forwarded the case to France's Council of State, which then referred it to the Constitutional Council.

France's government voted in 2011 to ban fracturing in shale oil and gas operations. Legislation also called for the French government to submit an annual report to Parliament on the progress of shale exploration and production techniques (OGJ Online, May 12, 2011).

Separately, French President Francois Hollande recently said he will not allow shale gas exploration during his presidency. His 5-year term ends in 2017.

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