Total boss Patrick Pouyanne said plans to ban imports of US shale gas to France may be unworkable.
“I don’t know how it would be possible to do it,” Pouyanne said Wednesday at a hearing of the French Senate.
“The gas is liquefied in the US, and shale and conventional gas are mixed together in pipelines. You can’t then separate them,” he said.
French Energy Minister Segolene Royal said on Tuesday she is investigating legal means to ban the import of shale gas from the United States because France has banned shale gas exploration using hydraulic fracking for environmental reasons.
Royal said contracts signed by French gas utility Engie, power utility EDF and Total with US producer Cheniere Energy have led to the import of LNG which contained about 40% shale gas.
Re-gasification units in Europe are running at just 25 percent of capacity, and will attract US LNG imports, the Total chief executive said.
“We’ll buy American gas in one year or two. We plan to import it in Europe or elsewhere in the world.”
“The price of gas in Europe has dropped because of American LNG,”