On January 8, 2016, the French Administrative Court of Cergy-Pontoise granted permission to French oil and gas company Total to appeal a prior decision rescinding a permit for shale gas exploration in the South of France. This decision is more than surprising, particularly as the French Administrative Court denied the request of the Texas company Schuepbach to appeal the same decision on December 22, 2015.
In 2010, the French Environmental Minister granted three exclusive permits for shale gas prospecting to the French company Total and American-based Schuepbach. The permits were repealed in October 2011 following the enactment of the French Prohibition Act, which banned hydraulic fracturing for shale gas extraction.
According to a media report, Total alleged that it had no intention of using hydraulic fracturing while prospecting for shale gas resources – contrary to Schuepbach. A decision on the appeal is expected towards the end of January.
Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow