The file, carried by the Canadian group Vermilion Energy in La Teste-de-Buch, is now in the hands of the prefect, who must issue an authorization or refusal order.
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The decision calls into question that the exploitation of hydrocarbons must be gradually banned in France by 2040. A contested oil drilling project by the Canadian group Vermilion Energy in La Teste-de-Buch, near Arcachon (Gironde), has received, Monday, November 20, a favorable opinion following the public inquiry, reports France Bleu Gironde.
Vermilion plans to drill these eight new wells in order to “to reach previously unexploited oil reserves” on the Cazaux site, where around fifty wells are already active, with production currently estimated at 1,500 barrels/day.
At the end of the public inquiry conducted from August 28 to September 26, the investigating commissioner received 102 contributions, “reflects the legitimate concerns of the public regarding the major issues linked to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming”we can read in his report (PDF link). If she recognizes “concerns certainly heightened” following the monster fires of 2022 which ravaged 7,000 hectares of the La Teste-de-Buch forest, the commissioner notes that no local resident has reported “serious dysfunction” or “major nuisance” linked to the Cazaux concession.
EELV denounces “incredible cynicism”
Saying he did “abstraction from general considerations on the future of oil extraction in France” beyond 2040, the commissioner also notes that “oil not produced in France would certainly be imported with a much higher environmental cost”.
The opinion given is criticized by Vital Baude, regional advisor Europe Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV), who says “heartbroken, dismayed”. “This argument which consists of saying that we are going to make short circuits of oil to pollute less, I find that incredibly cynical”, reacted the elected official, also a municipal councilor of Arcachon. The file is now in the hands of the prefect of Gironde, who must issue an order authorizing or refusing the project.
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