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Sigmar Gabriel (Image courtesy of the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy)

Germany in planning to write up new fracking rules in the coming weeks relating to the techniques allowed to be used.

The guidelines will include a ban on drilling in areas where water is protected and environmental audits.

Last year Germany’s ruling parties promised in their coalition agreement to set a legal framework around fracking.

Fracking technology has been used in Germany for decades, but as the country waits for the new rules, there has been a two year effective prohibition on new permit approvals.

Sigmar Gabriel, the Economy and Energy Minister, outlined his plans to draft the guidelines in a letter to the head of the parliamentary budget committee on May 23.

“The goal is to finalise these drafts in the coming weeks,” Gabriel said in the letter.