Lawmakers in France's lower house of Parliament gave preliminary backing on Jan. 25 for a total ban on shale gas exploration and extraction.
However, it is not certain that the ban will go to the Senate and return to the lower house for a final vote before parliamentary work is suspended in February so lawmakers can campaign for a legislative election in June.
The conservatives, which have a majority in the Senate but not the lower house, are opposed to the ban, which would come on top of an ban on fracking in place since 2011.
CNOOC Ltd. subsidiary CNOOC China Ltd. has signed a petroleum contract with PetroChina Co. Ltd, for the Beibu Gulf 23/29 and Beibu Gulf 24/11 blocks in the South China Sea’s Beibu Gulf Basin, according to a news release.
The company said April 24 that it encountered more than 400 ft net of oil pay.
Shell is in talks to buy BP's stake in the Shearwater oil and gas field in the British North Sea for around $250 million, three industry sources told Reuters.