The highest court in France, the Constitutional Council, has upheld the ban on fracking, as reported by the Financial Times. That will result in even more demand for oil and natural gas from North America, which is now the world’s largest oil producing region. For companies in the energy sector in the United States and Canada, such as Hess Oil (NYSE: HES), Marathon Petroleum (NYSE: MPC), Americas Petrogas (TSEX: BOE), and Octagon 88, that is very good news.
The less competition there is from abroad, France here, the better it is for oil and natural gas firms in North America.
Europe is a major energy importer. The decision in France will ensure it stays that way. Germany has pledged to do away with nuclear power. Coal is very dirty. As a result, oil and natural gas becomes much more attractive, especially in Europe.
That will increase the demand in France and other countries for energy that their domestic industry cannot meet. This creates more markets for North American exports. Permits to export natural gas have been approved by The Obama Administration. Canada has several pipeline projects underway to allow for oil and natural gas from Alberta to make it to both coasts. From there, exports can head to Asia and Europe.
Repsol, (PINK: REPYY), the Spanish oil giant, is already looking to spend up to $10 billion for North American energy assets, as reported by The Wall Street Journal; and detailed in a previous article on this site. Seeking a secure asset base, the decision by the Constitutional Council of France demonstrates why Repsol is looking in North America, and not Europe. That makes Americas Petrogas, Octagon 88, Hess, Marathon, and the others even more valuable to investors. Operating in the Canadian energy sector makes Octagon 88 and Americas Petrogas particularly appealing due to the emphasis on energy in that country.