(Adds details from statement)
AMSTERDAM, July 10 The Dutch government said on
Friday it would ban shale gas drilling for five years and not
renew existing exploration licences due to uncertainties about
the environmental impact.
The decision comes as the Netherlands steps up its search
for alternative energy sources in the wake of shrinking domestic
natural gas supplies and strains in its relationship with major
energy supplier Russia.
"There will be no shale gas drilling during this government
period," a statement said. At the end of 2015 the government
will decide on the role of shale gas in the country's long-term
"It is still unclear how much shale gas there is and if its
extraction would be financially feasible," it said. "Research
shows that there is uncertainty about the effect shale gas
extraction would have."
(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; editing by David Clarke and