Shell makes water pledge in Karoo fracking
Cape Town - Shell SA plans to store waste water generated from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the Karoo in containers to be appropriately disposed of later, said the company's upstream manager Jan Willem Eggink.
Addressing the Cape Town Press Club on Thursday, Eggink said the natural shale gas that would be produced from the fracking process, "typically lies thousands of metres below fresh water aquifers".
"So it is virtually impossible for liquid - or indeed gas - to reach drinking-water supplies through the localised cracks induced by fracking."
Eggink said that Shell would not compete for drinking water supplies in the arid Karoo region.
"We understand this is an important issue for people in the Karoo, particularly farmers, which is why we've made a clear pledge we will not compete for water in the Karoo during any stage of our operations," he said.
Eggink said that during the exploration phase Shell intended to bring water needed from elsewhere.
"If we proceed with the development phase, we will by that time have a better view on where the water can be sourced from. In addition we will review other solutions, such as importing water from rivers outside the Karoo," Eggink said.
He pledged that whatever solutions Shell came up with regarding water, it would discuss them with the local community.