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Monday, July 7, 2014

WSJ: Germany Shelves Shale-Gas Drilling For Next Seven Years

"Protecting drinking water and health has the highest value for us," (Environment Minister) Ms. Hendricks said.

BERLIN—Germany plans to halt shale-gas drilling for the next seven years over concerns that exploration techniques could pollute groundwater. "There won't be [shale-gas] fracking in Germany for the foreseeable future," Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said Friday. The planned regulations come amid a political standoff with Russia, Germany's main natural gas supplier, and following intensive lobbying from environmentalists and brewers concerned about possible drinking-water contamination. The production of shale gas requires the application of the hydraulic fracturing technology known as fracking, which involves using a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals to break apart rocks to release the gas. The government plans to ban the use of hydraulic fracturing technology for drilling operations shallower than 3,000 meters (1.9 miles) and hopes to get a bill ready early next year.