France is suspending oil explorations in its territorial waters with immediate effect and until further notice, industry sources said Wednesday, quoting government officials.
The sources at the French Petroleum Institute (IFP) said that the decision had been taken by French Environment Minister Nicole Bricq, who wants to review all offshore licences to ensure they were compliant with environmental policies.
Modifications to agreements currently negotiated or under negotiation are likely.
The decision will affect both domestic and foreign companies operating in French waters.
France has only limited offshore exploration off its mainland but companies like Shell are seeking operating rights in South America in France's territorial waters off French Guiana.