SHARE
German chancellor Angela Merkel. Image courtesy of World Economic Forum/Flickr.

German government officials said Monday that the country has no plans to lift its current ban on fracking after news reports suggested the government was considering lifting a two year moratorium on permit granting.

Currently Germany only allows fracking below 9,842 feet in an effort to combat groundwater contamination.

German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that the depth limitation would be thrown out under new proposed rules, a claim the Environment Ministry denies.

The ministry said fracking could eventually be approved as drilling technology improves, Reuters said.

Germany has an estimated shale gas reserve of between 0.7 trillion and 2.3 trillion cubic meters.

No hydraulic fracturing permits have been issued in two years as the government continues to debate new rules for drilling.

German industry leaders have become vocal supporters of shale drilling in the hopes that shale gas will allow the country to better compete with energy rich economies and combat rising domestic fuel prices.

Germany’s federal environmental agency has called fracking a “risky technology” and recommended it be banned under the country’s clean water regulations.