Shell reviewing ASA ruling on fracking ads

2011-07-07 14:41

Cape Town - Cape Town - Oil company Shell is considering its options after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled against it over print adverts on fracking placed in April.

The ASA dismissed four of the nine complaints, upheld four and did not make a decision on one complaint as the nature of it was such that it fell outside of its mandate.

The company is now reviewing the grounds of the ruling concerning the other four complaints and reserves its right to submit a response that addresses in more depth the complaints that have not been dismissed.

"We are disappointed by the ruling. The purpose of the advert was to provide information direct to the public to enable them to properly assess the nature of the proposed shale gas exploration in the Karoo, as well as the accompanying technology of hydraulic fracturing," said Shell SA country chair Bonang Mohale.

The environmental group Treasure the Karoo Action Group (TKAG) brought the complaint against Shell over the company's proposed plans to engage in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the Karoo to extract shale gas.

The TKAG has vowed to stop all proposals to do fracking in the Karoo.


"Shell isn't the only applicant, there are many mining companies greedily eyeing the Karoo. We would like to stop this technology in its entirety in South Africa," the TKAG's Jonathan Deal told News24.

In the organisation's Critical Review report, led by Dr Luke Haveman, there are concerns about the use of water in the fracking process, particularly in the arid region of the Karoo.

Shell though, said that the advert was intended to make the public aware of the company's understanding.

"The advert was a technical statement of our opinions and understanding of the implications of shale gas exploration in South Africa. The advert was intended to bring to the public’s attention, in an open and transparent manner, Shell’s commitments and information that are already in the public domain," Mohale said.

The process has been touted as a job creator.

Professor Phillip Lloyd of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology said that would create hundreds of thousands of jobs and not impact the ground water negatively in the region.

But his view was strongly condemned by environmental activists.

Renewable energy

"There are studies that have been done that confirm that the life cycle impact of fracking are potentially greater than that of coal," Muna Lakhani, Cape Town branch co-ordinator for Earthlife Africa told News24.

Fracking uses several chemicals to fracture the rock, and the process has been placed under moratorium in France and there are ongoing cases in the US.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said in a statement that shale gas in SA was unnecessary because the country should instead focus on renewable energy projects.

Shell insisted that the process was complex and that it acted in an open and transparent manner when placing the adverts which first appeared on April 17 2011 in the Sunday Times.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter

- News24
Read more on:    shell  |  earthlife africa  |  wwf  |  environment  |  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


Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding

Learn some great skills that will help your riding on the road and on the track.


Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips on how to set your fitness goals
This all-terrain vehicle is badass!
The TRUTH about painkillers and exercise
WIN! Where were you when you last felt alive?

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. 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


You may be spending too much time organising and trying to control things to make sure everything is perfect instead of 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.