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French energy CEO says ‘God willing’ France will frack

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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Apparently, the fate of hydraulic fracturing in Europe is in God’s hands, according to a French energy CEO.

When asked about the potential for shale oil and gas development in France, the CEO of the energy giant Total said “Insha Allah,” or “God willing.”

Total CEO Christophe de Margerie made these remarks at an international energy conference hosted by the energy consulting firm IHS. Margerie spoke about the potential for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking in France, the fate of which has yet to be determined.

CEO of @Total says “Insha Allah” on potential for #shale development in France #ceraweek #oil #gas #InshaAllah

— Zain Shauk (@ZainShauk) March 4, 2014

While the U.S. has seen an energy boom and a manufacturing comeback to due fracking, France and much of Europe have been debating whether or not they should follow suit or leave drilling to the Americans.

Last year, the French high court upheld a federal ban on fracking in the country, which was imposed at the behest of environmentalists who argue that the drilling technique contaminates groundwater.

French President Francois Hollande said that the court’s decision meant that the integrity of the fracking ban was “beyond dispute.” But Hollande did say that oil and gas companies could use other techniques to get at French shale formations.

“So people say you fractured so you cannot be nice,” Margerie said at the IHS conference on Tuesday. “Lets focus on how we can frack in a nice way”

Fracking involves injecting water, sand and chemical mixtures more than a mile underground to extract oil and gas from hard to reach shale formations. Despite its environmentalist critics, fracking has not yet been linked to groundwater contamination.

.@Total‘s de Margerie, always the funniest CEO at #ceraweek: Maybe someday France will return to reality on energy. But, “Who cares?”

— Jonathan Fahey (@JonathanFahey) March 4, 2014

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