Shell promises ethical fracking

2012-09-10 09:26

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


"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.

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  • Spennybig - 2012-09-10 09:39

    This is a disgusting, greedy, short sighted decision that will negatively affect all who live and depend upon the karroo. All to line the ANC's fat cat coffers or a white owned conglomerate, disgusting behavior and whoever gets the inevitable kick back from this should be imprisoned.

      JackRussel - 2012-09-10 09:51

      There is no such thing as 'Responsible fracking' The process is devastating

      christopher.shining - 2012-09-10 10:12

      Nice picture of frack our beautiful Karoo we will frack you.

      mofstok - 2012-09-10 10:25

      Absolutely! I a have not supported Shell for 4 years running now, and I will never use a service station of their's ever again. Shell is just another irresponsible mineral exploitation corporation, their disgusting conduct in Nigeria attests to this.

      thando.gqabaza - 2012-09-10 10:48

      Looking at that pic... Would YOU trust that guy ? I wouldn't .....

      gungets.tuft - 2012-09-10 11:13

      Please all sign the petition. It might be a waste of time but it will at least be the most worthwhile waste of your time today.

      joe.farmer.92775 - 2012-09-10 11:31

      "ethical fraking' sounds a bit like 'corrective rape'

  • mark1 - 2012-09-10 09:40

    Frack Off Shell !!!

  • brendon.nel.7 - 2012-09-10 10:02

    The only ethical fracking is none at all!!!

  • bianca.cooper1 - 2012-09-10 10:02

    There's no such thing as ethical fracking. Come in, destroy our natural beauty and get the frak out. Again, government going for the quick buck rather than focusing on renewable, sustainable sources of income.

  • stirrer.stirrer - 2012-09-10 10:03

    The only ethical fracking is NO fracking. Frack off Shell!

  • leon.roelofse.9 - 2012-09-10 10:09

    Pffft! Ethical Fracking is like screwing for virginity. Wonder what the goverments kickback is......

      ally.oh.7 - 2012-09-10 10:17

      Uncovering the kickback deal would be interesting! Tell us who will be paid what.

  • harald.voney - 2012-09-10 10:12

    Money money money at all costs... What the hell to Shell, or the ANC their partners, care about the polution of the Karoo or any other place... Fracking is being banned all over the world, except here because of money... 10 years of gas is possibly all that is available... then generations of poisend earth and water in the Karoo!! F&^%K off shell, and F%$#K off ANC!!

  • John Peter Steyn - 2012-09-10 10:14

    Frack them

  • ally.oh.7 - 2012-09-10 10:15

    Ethical fracking is a contradiction in terms.

  • peter.mansfield.395 - 2012-09-10 10:15

    An oil company in Africa offering ethical anything is like a hyena promising to become a vegetarian. Unlikely!

  • thethird.wors - 2012-09-10 10:17

    The pressure is on. One slipup here and the backlash will be massive.

  • daniel.v.wyk - 2012-09-10 10:17

    I smell a FAT paycheck for some politicians who allowed this!!!

  • seath1 - 2012-09-10 10:22

    Bring Shell to its knee's ........boycot there products !!!

  • planetleon - 2012-09-10 10:23

    How do they know that not a single Karoo farm or wind pump taps into that "very deep" underground water? BOYCOTT SHELL!

  • jennifer.d.martin.750 - 2012-09-10 10:25

    . I will never buy from SHELL . NEVER.

  • bruce.lawson3 - 2012-09-10 10:28

    "Responsible Fracking" is an Oxymoron - you bunch of Morons!!

  • nicholas.maunder.1 - 2012-09-10 10:29

    Search "Shell Nigeria" on Google images. Be Concerned!

  • harley.quin.334 - 2012-09-10 10:43

    Yeah...right...Oil company and ethical in the same sentence...anyone else see the flying pigs this morning??

  • ludlowdj - 2012-09-10 10:48

    Please show me any oil company that has done anything in an ethical manner?, SHELL will make promises it has already broken same as all the others. If you are so ethical please let us have a look at your cap replacement policy and the records of all well caps that have been replaced internationally? Like everyone else in the industry, I would presume you don't have one and rely on low pressure and a thickening of the oil to stop future leaks hey?

  • megan.mccarthy.9022 - 2012-09-10 10:48

    NONSENSE!!! How stupid do they think we are?????

  • Gavin.Meiring1 - 2012-09-10 10:49

    To the minister in government who authorised this "Frack You" and to Shell "Frack Off". Greed and Stupidity - the best bedfellows!

  • sisie.indola - 2012-09-10 10:54

    Oh boy they really think the whole population are dimwits. "Ethical fracking" yes sure and i believe in the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny.

  • denton.estment - 2012-09-10 10:57

    Boycott all products and services supplied by the vultures that want to damage our country

  • johleneh - 2012-09-10 11:02 and Please join the protest, we cannot do nothing and purely observe as our very own existence is being threatened! Do we just not care cause we're so busy buying crap that we do not need? Why can people not see we are only destroying ourselves? FRACK THAT I will BOYCOTT SHELL and ALL their products as well!

      johleneh - 2012-09-10 11:05

      By the way in the first link you can read the questions and answers between farmers in the Karoo & Shell executives (with of course, their speciality lawyers in tow) It is OBVIOUS from their answers that there are no ethical bones whatsoever in the entire greedy, gas-belching, corporate giant's bones...

  • mikel.kiparski - 2012-09-10 11:10

    now there is no pollution......tomorrow there might be 30% pollution..........that will be acceptable as some pollution is NORMAL... best to start cooking with TAP GASS AND GET USED TO IT...once they start its pointless closing the stable door

  • gungets.tuft - 2012-09-10 11:14

    Please all sign the petition. It might be a waste of time but it will at least be the most worthwhile waste of your time today.

  • pieter.louw.520 - 2012-09-10 11:51

    "ethical fracking" what an oxymoron! 360 years later and Africans are still bowing down to colonialism.

  • don.quioxte.3 - 2012-09-10 12:19

    PS. It will not be easy as this will be getting between a kaaskop and his money, and that is hardcore.

  • gail.welman - 2012-09-10 12:29

    A brand new term - 'ethical fracking' I am going to use this term when I am very much the %^*() in. I am telling Shell to get ethically fracked. I will definitely use any other petroleum supplier except Shell

  • don.quioxte.3 - 2012-09-10 12:44

    Prostitutes !!!

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