Shale gas a 'transition' energy source

2012-09-11 14:40
Jan Willem Egginck of Shell has urged responsible fracking in the Karoo. (Shell)

Jan Willem Egginck of Shell has urged responsible fracking in the Karoo. (Shell)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Shale gas is a transition fuel while the technology for renewable energy sources advances to the point where they become viable for large industry, an oil and gas company has said.

"Gas also emits CO2 [carbon dioxide], but it's half the amount compared to coal. My view is there will be an increase of demand for energy in the country. If you can fill that up with renewables and gas, you will still get a better CO2 balance as compared to filling it up with coal," Jan Willem Egginck, Upstream (Exploration) Shell South Africa told News24.

The company is preparing to conduct fracking or hydraulic fracturing, in the Karoo to find shale gas reserves.

Shell believes that gas burns cleaner than coal and both the UK and the EU recently expressed support for fracking.

"I would not be inclined toward a moratorium based on what I have heard so far," said EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard in 2011.


Cape Peninsula University of Technology Professor Phillip Lloyd argued that hydraulic fracturing in the Karoo would not have a significant impact on the environment.

Shell is set to conservatively spend $200m in the first exploratory phase of fracking and the company said that shale gas was a cleaner energy source than coal.

"We like it because there's a desire for gas and gas is cleaner than coal. There are good reasons to do this; we're prepared to risk money to look and see what's there," said Egginck.

Environmental organisations have deplored the lifting of the fracking moratorium in SA, suggesting that policy makers had not applied their minds to the science.

"Of course the South African government would have followed whatever is available broadly and what other institutions are saying. WWF's view on that would be that following sloppy science done elsewhere is no excuse for doing the same thing here," Dr Morné du Plessis CEO of WWF South Africa told News24.

He conceded that gas might be cheaper, but outright rejected the claim of it being a cleaner fuel.

"I cannot comment on whether it will be cheaper, it possibly will be and that would make it an attractive source of energy, but that still has to be proven.

"We would dispute the glib claim that it would be a cleaner source of energy based on the fugitive emissions because methane is a clear gas, so you don't exactly see a smoke stack coming out of a drill hole," said Du Plessis.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter

Read more on:    wwf  |  royal dutch shell  |  environment  |  renewable energy  |  fracking

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

  • Thursday Paarden Eiland - 07:18 AM
    Road name: Marine Drive Inbound
    DELAYS between Broad Road and the N1 Highway Interchange
  • Thursday Athlone - 07:17 AM
    Road name: Klipfontein Road Westbound
    HEAVY DELAYS between Belgravia Road and Liesbeeck Parkway
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9360

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone comes preloaded with Blackberry OS7...

From R1595.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.