French Energy Minister, Segolene Royal, said 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, Reuters reported.

Royal, answering a question in the Parliament, explained that contracts signed by French gas utility Engie and power utility EDF with the US liquefaction player Cheniere have led to the import of LNG which contained about 40% shale gas. “I have asked the two companies why they weren’t vigilant and I have also asked for an examination of a legal means for us to ban the import of shale gas,” Royal said.

As Upstream Online wrote, Cheniere, which began exporting LNG earlier this year, signed two supply agreements with EDF last year to sell up to a total of 189m British thermal units of LNG from the Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana.

The deal with Engie was also inked last year, and it allows for the delivery of 12 cargoes per year to the Montoir de Bretagne regasification terminal in France from 2018 to 2023. LNG would originate from Sabine Pass and Cheniere’s Corpus Christi terminal in South Texas, which is currently under construction.