France - US

French court bans US company Hess from drilling for fear of fracking

A hydraulic fracturing operation in Poland
A hydraulic fracturing operation in Poland Getty Images/Bloomberg/Bartek Sadowski

A French court has cancelled a drilling permit for US oil company Hess, despite the company's promise not to use the controversual method of fracking on the well.


In 2011 France passed a law banning hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, which involves extracting water and chemicals into shale rock deep underground to extract oil and gas.

Hess has a total of nine permits to drill conventional wells in the Paris basin as part of a project to map what is underground.

It has already drilled three of them.

But the administrative court in Melun on Wednesday cancelled the permit in Nonville, which it received in August 2012.

The company declared itself surprised by the decision.

France's fracking ban survived a High Court challenge last year.

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