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“A potential environmental disaster”: Paris town hall opposes an oil drilling project in Seine-et-Marne

Paris town hall is raising its voice.

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“A potential environmental disaster”: Paris town hall opposes an oil drilling project in Seine-et-Marne

Paris town hall is raising its voice. In a press release published this Monday, she denounces a new oil drilling project, authorized by the State, in Seine-et-Marne, which, according to her, “would threaten” the catchments of her water authority. This project “is a potential environmental disaster, at a time when water resources are increasingly threatened,” says the town hall led by Anne Hidalgo.

Its operator, Eau de Paris, filed an interim application with the Melun administrative court to suspend the prefectural decree of January 30 authorizing the opening of work on the Nonville hydrocarbon concession, 80 km southeast of the capital city. According to the town hall, like the oil producing company Bridge Energies, the decision should be known in the coming days.

In its request, Eau de Paris considers that the extension of the existing drilling site compromises “the security of the drinking water supply to the city of Paris”, but also “biodiversity” and “the fight against climate change”. . For Dan Lert, deputy for ecological transition and president of Eau de Paris, the government is “playing with fire”: no less than 180,000 Parisians and Seine-et-Marnais receive their drinking water from the two catchments located near the oil site , in Villeron and Villemer.

The company Bridge Energies holds a concession to exploit the current deposit until 2034 and already operates three wells, opened between 2012 and 2014. It obtained from the State to open two others, of depth of 1500 meters, following a public inquiry. In its opinion, the Environmental Authority makes a significant number of recommendations, including that of "analyzing and preventing the risks of an accident or malicious act leading to hydrocarbon spills that could reach the Lunain", river classified Natura 2000.

Bridge Energies “does not wish to comment until the administrative court has issued its first order” on the urgent appeal, indicated its president Philippe Pont. The company presents itself as the smallest of the 5 French oil producers, with the sole concession being Nonville, where only one of the three drillings still produces oil, for the equivalent of 75 barrels per day.

Discovered in the 1950s, this deposit produced around 5 million barrels between 1959 and 1994, according to Philippe Pont. In France, oil production represents 1% of national consumption, two thirds of which are produced in the Paris basin and the rest in the Aquitaine basin, in Gironde.

Contacted, the Ministry of the Economy made “no comment”. In February, the Minister for Industry and Energy, Roland Lescure, said he was in favor of the project of eight new oil drilling in Gironde while a 2017 law provides that the exploitation of hydrocarbons will be gradually banned in France by 2040. In a press release, Greenpeace France condemned “the authorization of new fossil projects on French territory by the government, in total contradiction with scientific findings and its own commitments”.

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