France’s Energy Strategy Could Soon Change
France’s energy strategy could be in for adjustments as the result of three major events that unfolded in the last hours including French Minister for Industrial Renewal Arnaud Montebourg’s intervention in favour of shale gas, renewed attempts from Paris to increase cooperation with Iran and the rallies in Yemen over an alleged purchase of Yemeni LNG below the international price market. These factors could soon change the cards on the French table.
"We can have disagreements in a majority coalition with our Green Party friends, but I do not accept that (subject of shale gas) should be the victim of a form of intellectual terrorism," Montebourg said last week on the radio network Europe 1.
The Minister is ready to back a proposal to allow local governments to individually decide whether to give their green light to fracking using fluoropropane, rather than the usual mixture of water, chemical and sand.
Montebourg’s declarations are nothing but new. However, it is the first time he publicly indicated the preferred methodology that would minimize the impact on the environment.
Last July, he said that France could soon come up with the right technology to ecologically exploit shale gas.
Similarly, in November 2012, Montebourg said: “A new generation of clean technologies can allow extraction without destruction.”
The visit follows similar delegation from the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and South Korea. International investors are excited by the business opportunities stemming from the easing of Western sanctions due to the agreement over Teheran’s nuclear program.
Over the weekend, protesters in Sana condemned Total’s purchase of Yemeni LNG for $3 per million BTU.
With hydrocarbon revenues accounting for 70% of Yemen’s national budget, President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi is trying to increase proceeds from international contracts in order to mitigate the on-going economic crisis and find a solution to the difficulties stemming from low foreign reserves.
“Agreements signed during the former regime deprived Yemen of full and fair compensation for LNG sales,” Shawki Al-Mekhlafi, the deputy minister of Yemen’s Ministry of Oil and Minerals, said in late January as reported by Yemen Post.
Protesters asked for an immediate suspension of the contract signed by Total with the former ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh in 1995.
‘Reports say that’s 11 dollars less than the average international market price of LNG sales,’ reads a story published by Press TV.