France blocks offshore exploration in French Guyana

Posted: 06/15/2012 in all marine news

gCaptain –

Citing environmental concerns, France Wednesday suspended offshore oil exploration drilling permits in its overseas district of Guyana, a move that surprised oil majors that have beem eyeing a hot new geological play.

The French environment minister, Nicole Bricq, a member of President Francois Hollande newly-established administration, confirmed the decision, citing concerns for the local marine fauna.

The permits will be suspended until the mining code has been reviewed.

The current code wouldn’t allow either the local population and stakeholders to be consulted on drilling, she said.

“The government doesn’t call into question exploration on the Guyanese reserves but wishes to deeply reform the mining code to restore the national sovereignty in terms of the exploitation of its own resources and better protect the environment,” the minister said in a statement.

The move, which was cheered by environmentalists, underscores anew the difficulty oil majors face in getting access to choice reserves.

Oil majors around the world have embarked upon a global race to find new reserves and replace their current production.

Full story…

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