May 12th, 2016
In Ireland there is a policy prohibiting fracking but none treating the importation of shale oil and gas, which is produced through fracking.
Speaking yesterday French Energy Minister Segolene Royal said she wants to stop the importation of shale oil and gas into France. This came on the back of the decision by two French electricity companies to import oil and gas from fracking. EDF (Electricite de France) and Engie (Gaz de France) signed contracts with a US company to import gas from fracking exploitation.
The French Minister has asked for a legal study of the contracts, which might lead to the interdiction of oil importation from non-conventional sources.
The two companies signed contracts committing them to a deal with the American company Cheniere. EDF signed a contract stating that the company would buy 770,000 tones per year for the next 20 years, from 2019. Engie signed a 5 years contract to buy up to 800,000 tones of LNG Liquefied Natural Gas, a year.
France was the first country to prohibit fracking in 2011. The French population mobilized against the practice and this led to laws prohibiting fracking because of the risks to the environment.
At that time, French politicians pointed out the dangers of this law that did not prohibit the importation of shale gas, this news underline the inefficiency of the laws only prohibiting fracking.
Furthermore, this comes during the TTIP negotiations which will influence greatly the place of fracking in the European societies. Indeed, Ireland and all European Countries will be affected by the result of the international negotiations, which intent to create a free trade agreement and good conditions for the company to run their business.