PARIS (Reuters) – The French government asked power group Engie ENGIE.PA to hold off on signing a multi-billion dollar U.S. liquefied natural gas import contract on concerns over the deal’s environmental implications, a source familiar with the matter said.
The intervention comes amid growing scrutiny over leaks of methane at oil and gas infrastructure, including at U.S. producers, and their impact on climate change. It has also emerged against the backdrop of broader trade disputes between Europe and the United States.
Engie’s contract, worth $7 billion, would be with NextDecade, which is due to decide on whether to go ahead with plans to build its proposed Rio Grande export plant in Texas.
The project was “not aligned with France’s environmental project and environmental vision”, the source said, adding that the request had come from the economy ministry.
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