Energy companies in France will not be allowed to use hydraulic fracturing to tap into shale reserves. French President Francois Hollande said he would not allow the drilling process during his presidency.
"While I am president, there will be no shale gas exploration in France," Hollande announced on the France 2 channel July 14.
The president's term expires in 2017. Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg, however, said shale gas exploration in France could occur if it was controlled by a state-owned company and if more "environmentally sound" drilling techniques are discovered, Platts reported.
Last year, the French Association of Environmental Health said chemicals used in fracking pose a health risk, UPI reported. A moratorium on shale gas exploration was put into place in 2011. Total, a French energy company, has a permit to explore 1,670 square miles in southern France and plans to challenge the ban on drilling.