French gas and power utility Engie SA has pulled out of a major U.S. LNG import deal after government concerns about its environmental implications.
Late last month the French government had asked Engie to hold off from signing the deal with NextDecade Corp. amid growing scrutiny of the effects of shale gas extraction methods such as fracking and their impact on climate change through methane emissions.
"Engie has decided not to pursue commercial negotiations with NextDecade about this gas supply project," an Engie spokeswoman said, confirming a report in French daily Le Monde.
The contract, estimated to be worth $7 billion, was for the import of shale gas via a Texas-based terminal as part of a project called Rio Grande LNG.
The agreement reached in principle would consolidate most of the concessions APA operates through subsidiary Apache Egypt in the Western Desert into one.
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U.S. shale producer Diamondback Energy said on Dec. 21 it would buy rival QEP Resources Inc. in an all-stock deal valued at around $2.2 billion.