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Fracking a possibility in France – minister

03rd May 2012

France is joining the tens of countries now weighing up the benefits and downsides to using fracking as a means to extract natural shale gas deep beneath the surface of the earth

French minster ponders reconsidering frackning ban

French finance minister, Eric Besson hinted on Thursday France in the next few years could reconsider its ban on fracking but only if the technology can be proven safe.

The subject was not off the table for the country, he said the 13th International Oil Summit in Paris. He reiterated however shale gas explorers had so far as yet been unable to prove that the process was not harmful to the environment.

The statement comes in spite of the two front-runners for the next French presidency, Nicholas Sarkozy and Françoise Hollande earlier this year made clear they were both against shale gas exploration using fracking techniques

France last year imposed a ban on fracking because of fears over its environmental impact.

Companies such as Total are examining ways they can improve the safety of the process and looking at developing shale gas in China.
A report by the European Parliament argued shale gas exploration has regulatory "privileges" it does not deserve. The benefits of the gas were not worth the environmental risks and damage done by the process, it concluded.

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