Shell promises ethical fracking

2012-09-10 09:26
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 - Shell insists that it will conduct exploration for shale gas in the Karoo in an ethical manner after the government recently lifted the moratorium on fracking.

"Don't forget that we are not a fly-by-night. We have been in this country for 110 years as a company so we have a reputation that we have to protect here which obviously we don't want to damage," Jan Willem Egginck, Upstream (Exploration) Shell South Africa told News24.

While there are risks related to pollution of water from the practice, Egginck said that one of the most important aspects was to ensure well integrity.

It is critical that the well is sealed as the drill descends through to deeper layers of rock. Some operators do not effectively carry out this aspect of the procedure and the result is that gas migrates up and into water reservoirs.

"Natural gas wants to migrate up," said Penn State University geologist Dave Yoxtheimer, who works at the Marcellus Centre for Outreach and Research

Contamination


"It's lighter, it's less dense. And it finds itself getting trapped in these shallower, more porous formations. And during the drilling process you can go down through these shallower formations. As you're drilling through, suddenly you've created a conduit for those gasses to escape."

The movie Gasland demonstrated the effect of methane contamination of water, but Egginck argued that unscrupulous operators did not always check their well integrity to prevent gas leaks and pollution.
 
"The other risk is what is the risk of gas landing up in the water like they pretended in the Gasland video. These problems we've seen in the [United] States are all related to well integrity problems. You haven't drilled and sealed off your well properly in the process," he said.

As the well depth increases, operators should ensure that it is able to withstand the same pressure that will be applied during the fracking process.

The sealing of the well is usually done with cement and in stages to produce a tight seal. Every section is pressure tested to make sure that it will withstand operational pressures.

"You have to pressure it to such an extent that it's the pressure that is similar to the one you use in fracking, obviously not a lower pressure. If you see a leak, you have to repair it or re-drill the hole; you should not proceed.

"The leaks you're seeing in the States may be related to these well integrity problems of these operators not diligently doing their work," said Egginck.


- Follow Duncan on Twitter
 

Read more on:    shell  |  fracking  |  environment
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
39 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
 

Inside News24

 
 

DA wants to empower fishing communities - Zille

DA leader Helen Zille says the party has a plan for harbours and small-scale fishing communities.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
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!

Kalahari.com - 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 kalahari.com. 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 kalahari.com’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 8520

Wi-Fi enabled With the BlackBerry Curve 8520 connect to your home...

From R1100.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.