Denmark allows Total to resume fracking

Reuters/Enrique Marcarian
French energy giant Total was granted a permission to continue shale gas exploration in Denmark following a week-long ban over using hazardous chemicals not approved by local authorities in its drilling process.

The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) confirmed that Total may resume drilling for shale gas once it obtains all the necessary permits from the environmental authorities. The agency said it had received a confirmation from Total that “it will ensure that no future error occurs by introducing a number of new procedures to control the handling of chemicals.”

READ MORE: Denmark suspends fracking over ‘hazardous’ chemicals

On May 6 DEA issued an order for Total to immediately suspend shale exploration in northern Jutland after it turned out that Total had used a chemical, referred to as ‘Null Foam’, that wasn’t approved by the authorities. The news of Total’s using forbidden chemicals saw widespread social and political resistance.

Total’s drilling for shale gas in Denmark was given green light last year despite strong objections from the local community and environmentalists. The company has previously suffered protests over its Danish project, faced a fracking ban in its own home country of France, and exited its Polish licenses.

Fracking is a procedure of extracting shale oil and gas by means of drilling down into the earth and directing a high-pressure chemical mixture into the rock to release oil and gas inside. While the controversial method is banned in such countries as France, Germany and even parts of the US, Denmark considers fracking to be a sustainable way of transitioning to a fossil-free green energy.