The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to propose regulations which will be aimed at reducing methane emissions by between 40 and 45% from the oil and gas sector over the next decade.
The move is part of a wider strategy in place which is looking to reduce both greenhouse gases as well as combating climate change.
France could get the equivalent of 10 years of gas consumption by exploiting the methane trapped in the former coal mines of its deprived eastern regions, a French company running a rare domestic exploration programme said on Wednesday.
France, which slammed the door on developing shale gas due to environmental concerns and blocked many exploration permits, has discretely supported efforts by Française de l'Energie, based in the Lorraine region, to exploit so-called coalbed methane.
"France is completely dependent on imports, so it's rather interested in seeing we can produce a gas which is clean and near existing infrastructure," said Julien Moulin, head of the company formerly known as European Gas.