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European governments hesitant to allow fracking

Despite their struggling economies, some European governments are hesitant about shale gas development

France, one of Europe’s struggling major economies, has huge potential for shale gas but a ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has killed any short-term development of a sector that could generate inward investment and employment.  The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) says two main formations in the Paris basin – the Lias Shale and the Permian-Carboniferous Shale – hold 690 trillion cubic feet (cf) of shale gas. Around 129 trillion cf is considered technically recoverable. This dwarfs the country’s 200 billion cf of proved conventional gas reserves. The basin is also thought to hold 118bn barrels of shale oil (4.7bn recoverable). France banned fracking in 2011 following protes

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