France Stops Oil and Gas Production by 2040
France plans to stop oil and gas production by 2040, and the authorities in the country will stop issuing new permits from next year. This includes a draft law presented at a cabinet meeting yesterday, Bloomberg reports.
Such a move would allow the French government to reject more than 40 research applications that have already been submitted while some existing permits may be extended to comply with existing contracts.
Among them is a mining license near French Guiana, in which Total SA has a share, according to an adviser to Ecology Minister Nicolas Yullo, who spoke to reporters in Paris.
The new legislation "will allow us to free up gradually," Yullo said after the cabinet meeting, also confirming that the current exploration permissions in French Guiana will remain valid.
"This will allow investors to devote more investment to renewable energy, and now the oil and gas leave us dependent on geopolitics," the minister said.
The changes are part of French President Emmanuel Macron's plan to take the lead in tackling climate change after the United States withdrew from the Paris agreement to combat global warming.
Macron's plans include turning France into a fuel-independent country by 2050. It is them who are among the biggest contributors to global warming.
France has extracted the quantity of 6 million barrels of oil in 2015, covering only 1% of its demand, according to data submitted to the cabinet. France's exploration and production of oil and gas generates annual revenues of about EUR 300 million and directly or indirectly provides about 5000 jobs. Existing production licenses will not be extended beyond 2040 under the proposed law.
While French oil and gas production can be determined to be relatively small, changes may affect companies such as Vermilion Energy Inc., which has several concessions, and will virtually reduce its prospects for discoveries of new deposits near French Guiana.
According to the plan submitted in July, France will cease selling gasoline and diesel cars by 2040.
In addition, it will gradually increase fossil fuel taxes by 2022 and invest more in renewable energy sources.
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