French industry minister: France must be open to shale gas potential

11/5/2012

French industry minister: France must be open to shale gas potential

BY GERALDINE AMIEL

PARIS -- French industry minister Arnaud Montebourg Monday reiterated that the merits of shale gas should be explored in France. Mr. Montebourg's comments precede the release later in the day of a government requested report on France's competitiveness, which should recommend that potential shale gas fields are explored as a way to lower France's energy imports and costs, according to the minister.

The industry minister's comments underscore divisions in the French government over the country's energy mix strategy, as French President Francois Hollande has pledged to forbid hydraulic fracturing, citing risks to the environment.

A report issued in April following a request from the previous government said French shale oil and gas fields are potentially some of the most promising in Europe and banning exploration before the reserves are assessed could be detrimental to France's economy and labor market.

Dow Jones Newswires

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