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Ohio Utica Shale

Report calls for easing French ban on fracking

By Bob Downing Published: June 7, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

By Tara Patel

Jun 6, 2013 5:42 AM ET

France’s ban on hydraulic fracturing should be eased to estimate the size of its shale oil and gas reserves, according to a parliamentary report.

Dozens of exploration wells could be drilled in regions where seismic data has indicated promising reserves, a report by a French parliamentary commission showed.

“We have to estimate our reserves more precisely,” Deputy Christian Bataille told a press conference today. Shale oil in the Paris Basin appears “promising” while data on shale gas in southwestern France is outdated, he said.

The recommendations would require changes to France’s 2011 fracking ban implemented by former President Nicolas Sarkozy. His successor Francois Hollande has said he supports the ban. The country’s business lobbies have stepped up a campaign in recent months in favor of shale energy development, which commonly uses fracking. They argue it would help reverse France’s industrial decline, raise competitiveness through cheaper energy supplies and lower unemployment.

“Everything rests in the way the drilling is carried out,” Senator Jean-Claude Lenoir said at today’s press conference. “We have many regulations about industrial sites that could apply” to avoid enviromental damage.

Publication of the report comes a day after Energy Minister Delphine Batho rejected any move to relax the ban, citing“considerable” environmental damage in the U.S. caused by the method.

Earthquakes, aquifer pollution, heavy metal contamination, increased truck traffic and damage to the countryside are consequences of fracking, the minister said in a radio debate.

Environmental Dumping

“The U.S. has invented environmental dumping,” Batho said. “Gas prices in the U.S. don’t take into account the cost of environmental damage that future generations will have to pay.”

France and Poland have the greatest potential for recoverable shale gas in Europe, the International Energy Agencyhas said. The French anti-fracking law would allow some forms of drilling for research purposes under highly controlled conditions, something the government has so far blocked.

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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.