Shell welcomes fracking decision

2012-09-07 20:16
There has been mixed reaction to the lifting of the moratorium on fracking in the Karoo. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

There has been mixed reaction to the lifting of the moratorium on fracking in the Karoo. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Oil giant Shell is pleased with Cabinet's decision to lift the moratorium on shale gas exploration in South Africa.

"Shell welcomes this decision. The Karoo Basin offers a potential exploration opportunity for shale gas, which we believe will be instrumental in meeting South Africa's growing energy demand," Shell SA chairperson Bonang Mohale said in a statement on Friday.

This would help create sustainable and permanent jobs for South Africans.

According to the statement, Shell would "continue to work closely with local people in the Karoo, and other stakeholders, to address concerns and ensure they benefit from our work".

It would also "continue to listen to the views of Karoo residents and explain in detail what our plans entail".

Shell was investing "significant resources" globally in developing natural gas as a cleaner energy source to help meet surging energy demands.

Chamber of commerce sees benefits

Natural gas development, including the potential development in the Karoo, would bring great benefits to local communities through job creation and local business opportunities, it said.

Meanwhile, the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said environmental concerns about exploratory fracking must be balanced against the economic benefits it could bring.

"The potential environmental consequences must be balanced against the economic benefits that would accrue to the country should it become more self-reliant in terms of energy resources," Sacci CEO Neren Rau said in a statement.

Sacci supported the fact that companies wanting to undertake shale gas exploration would have to comply with stringent South African environmental impact assessment standards.

This, Rau said, would "alleviate anxieties relating to fracking from an environmental perspective".

Sacci believed that apart from making South Africa less reliant on imported energy, the benefits of exploiting shale gas would include the creation of sorely-needed jobs.
Read more on:    shell  |  sacci  |  fracking  |  environment

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