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Shale Gas: French Constitutional Court Upholds Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing

The French Constitutional Court delivered on 11 October 2013 its decision as regards the conformity of Law No. 2011-835 of 13 July 2011 with the French Constitution. The law introduced a ban on the exploration and exploitation of liquids and gaseous hydrocarbons by the means of hydraulic fracturing. The law also repealed the research permits granted when such permits intended to use hydraulic fracturing. Therefore, the Dallas-based exploration company Schuepbach Energy LLC, which possessed two exploration permits, raised a question as to the conformity of the law with the Constitution. Importantly, the Constitutional Court backs the difference between hydraulic fracturing and the exploitation of geothermal resources, the latter being permitted.

The press release from the Constitutional Court is available here (in French). 

Full text of the decision here.

A more detailed analysis will follow rapidly on this blog.