France presents a project to end the exploitation of hydrocarbons by 2040

France presents a project to end the exploitation of hydrocarbons by 2040

"France assumes the role of leader in the fight against climate change, and encourages other countries to take similar initiatives, in line with the Paris agreement," said Hulot in 2015, at the end of the Council of Ministers of the Government that leads the president, Emmanuel Macron.

The law seeks to end the exploitation of conventional hydrocarbons and also non-conventional ones, such as shale gas, due to the negative impact on the environment. But the measure is rather symbolic since France imports 99% of hydrocarbons and gas.

According to Hulot, stopping the exploitation and production of hydrocarbons in France will have "a limited impact" on companies in the sector because they have an export profile and because they will have about 25 years to adapt to the decrease in activity.

The hydrocarbon situation in France

The Government recalled that there are currently 63 hydrocarbon concessions in France covering an area of ​​about 4,000 square kilometers.

With the implementation of this law, the Executive assured that it will be able to decline more than 40 requests for permits, although it clarified that it will maintain those that have already been authorized.

He recalled that "only a few projects" approved before 2040 will be able to operate beyond that date.

The law

The text provides, in the first place, "to totally prohibit the search for unconventional hydrocarbons, that is, shale gases and oils, as well as methane hydrates locked in the seas or under permafrost" permanently frozen soil layer) for "reasons safety "and" environmental protection ", since methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. The hydrocarbons contained in the layers of coal are exempt from this law.

Regarding conventional oil and gas, the bill anticipates preventing the granting of new exploration permits. Nor will operating permits already granted be extended if that text is approved.

The objective of the Government is "to guarantee a progressive exit from the production of hydrocarbons in French territory (…) between now and 2040."

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