PARIS (Reuters) - French gas and power utility Engie <ENGIE.PA> has pulled out of a major U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) import deal after government concerns about its environmental implications.
Late last month the French government had asked Engie to hold off from signing the deal with NextDecade Corp <NEXT.O> amid growing scrutiny of the effects of shale gas extraction methods such as fracking and their impact on climate change through methane emissions.
"Engie has decided not to pursue commercial negotiations with NextDecade about this gas supply project," an Engie spokeswoman said, confirming a report in French daily Le Monde.
The contract, estimated to be worth $7 billion (5.3 billion pounds) was for the import of shale gas via a Texas-based terminal as part of a project called Rio Grande LNG.
(Reporting by Gwénaëlle Barzic; Writing by Geert De Clercq; Editing by David Goodman)