The Ministère du Développement durable has decided to create a section on its website that gathers together the plans and proposals of companies looking to undertake projects.
The ministry has said that such transparency is necessary to enable local people to be aware if work is set to take place close to them, and that the information is in a clear and easy to understand format.
Titled Permis de recherche : carte des demandes et des permis attribués the section will, over the coming months as documents are uploaded, allow people to begin their search by département.
Once picked details of the permit applications are accompanied by an identification sheet that includes the name of the applicant company, or the relevant departments, the location map of the request, the type of hydrocarbon sought and a progress file outlining when the application was filed, the current instructions and decision.
Long running campaigns to block the extraction of shale gas have been taking place in many corners of France, but a major problem was the difficulty of gaining up to date information.
However, this move to a transparent process, with the ministry saying 'la règle en matière de permis de recherche d’hydrocarbures doit être la transparence', should enable people to formulate detailed arguments against any plans if they wish to oppose them.