Shell urges responsible Karoo fracking

2012-09-07 13:01

Cape Town - With the Cabinet's lifting of a moratorium on fracking in the Karoo on Friday, companies should act responsibly and ensure that the environment is protected, an oil and gas firm has insisted.

Royal Dutch Shell is one of the companies that have applied for shale gas exploration rights in the Karoo in the hopes of exploring gas reserves.

"The risk of ground water contamination; I always split it: There are risks from the top, that is you drop a barrel of diesel on the ground. It may filter to the water; obviously we will avoid it as best as we can; we're a high standard operator," Jan Willem Egginck, Upstream (Exploration) Shell South Africa told News24.

"The risk from contamination from deeper down are: You have the risk from the chemicals, and the risk of that happening as far as I know is actually very close to zero or zero because it has not been seen in the world yet," said Egginck.

Environmentalists have condemned fracking because of fears that it will pollute ground water and in an area like the Karoo, water scarcity is more acute than in urban centres.


A University of the Free State professor said that companies should be careful about water pollution with regard to fracking.

"This is serious stuff. There will be trouble, and Shell and the other companies involved must take note," said Professor Gerrit van Tonder.

In Tioga county in the US state of New York, fracking was blamed for methane water pollution but investigators found that the wells drilled for shale gas were too close to the water wells at 370m, rather than the typical 2km in depth where shale gas is found.

Shell said that the risk was minimal and that the said it was committed to open discussion about the environment related to the effect of fracking.

Egginck said that companies should plan for all eventualities.

"I cannot rule out that an incident will not occur because I don't think we should. We should be honest: This is an industry where incidents may occur. I always say good operators like Shell have a plan in case an incident happens; bad operators have no plan: They run into a problem and then they don't know what to do."

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  • jennifer.d.martin.750 - 2012-09-07 13:36

    he looks like 'The Hitcher".

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-09-07 16:24

      . I have tears in my eyes, that Shell wants it to be 'responsible' They are like that other large company, who want us to 'drink responsible' They are such goooooood people !!! .......And bullsh.tters!! BOYCOT SHELL !!!

      hermann.hanekom - 2012-09-07 20:14

      Shell obviously ignores what is happening in the US of A - they only want to shell the income - I will not tank up at a Shell station.

  • zaatheist - 2012-09-07 13:56

    Well that is Shell off my shopping list.

  • johan.jacobs.5268 - 2012-09-07 13:59

    Where did I read this before....oh yes BP. "companies should act responsibly" Just look into the eyes of Jan Williams Egginck. You almost can see the dollar signs flashing in his eyes. Where there is money involved, all other factors flew out of the back door. Let's hope they have some sense into this operation.

  • chris.flack.750 - 2012-09-07 14:08

    Frack off Shell.

  • GreyRibbonAwareness - 2012-09-07 14:08

    Agh who cares... We live in a pathetic age where people just don't value what our ancestors did. They knew how to protest. Being burnt at the stake etc. Democracy provides too many freedoms like surfing the internet to find out how to make a bomb out of fertilizer like Breivik. Then we moan about land being destroyed a few hundred years after no one said anything about the Khoi being fenced of their land. No one did anything then and I doubt nothing will happen now. Too many other important things like Facebook to indulge in. Do people even know wbout the other issues like chocolate and child slavery? What about Mansonto who plan to patent every vegetable? We indulge in so much unethical cr**p and say nothing until it touches too close to our back yards.

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-09-07 14:32

      GreyRibbonIdiot, you are a first class hypocrite. You live in Norway, but support fracking in South Africa? Why don't you tell everybody here that, while Norway has some of the world's largest shale gas reserves, they refuse to do fracking in Norway? And that Norwegian companies are world leaders in fracking in OTHER countries, including the USA, and now planned in South Africa as a JV with Sasol? Working for StatOil, are you? BUSTED!!!!!!

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-09-07 14:38

      PS: I notice that here, as on the other fracking article, your own comments have only one ThumbsUp and those that speak up against you, only one ThumbsDown. Stop giving yourself ThumbsUps, please. It's childish.

  • stirrer.stirrer - 2012-09-07 14:08

    The phrase "responsible fracking" doesn't make sense.

      sheik.mohammad.378 - 2012-09-07 15:02

      It's like saying that "We'll will safely detonate dynamite in your house, you don't need to worry."

  • dhavandran.palavar - 2012-09-07 14:14

    i am shell shocked.

  • wouter.basson.5 - 2012-09-07 14:15

    The only "responsible fracking" is NO FRACKING

  • themba.maseko.568 - 2012-09-07 14:31

    Life is about taking risks but of course not at the expense of future generations.Unfortunately urbanization is affecting the environment. But we must make sure that people get jobs and improve their lives. Mining in the wits area has resulted in acid water below the ground bout a the same time Joburg was developed as we know it today...

  • hamish.drake1 - 2012-09-07 14:40

    "good operators like Shell"? So BP is also a "good operator" ? I guess Deepwater Horizon was just an unforseen "glitch" then ? Egginick = lying, money grabbing corporate bitch, with friends in high places(boughtand paid for).

  • flysouth - 2012-09-07 14:52

    Yeah, right! Shell - the people who have turned the Niger delta into an ecological disaster-zone! The people who caused flammable water to issue from taps in parts of the US through their fracking activities! The water can be BURNED! Since about a year ago when I learned of the massive effects of fracking I have boycotted Shell - and will continue to do so. I have now come to realise that what the business guru Tom Peters pointed out some years ago is true - that many companies behave in ways that, if they were a human being would in fact see them diagnosed as psycopathic. To judge by Shell's worldwide record, this company has a culture of pyscopathic behaviour, callously disregarding the terrible effects of their profit-seeking entirely.

  • mark1 - 2012-09-07 15:03

    Frack off shell. !!!

  • andrew.j.redman.9 - 2012-09-07 15:25

    This gas reserve is HUGE - it's the 4th biggest gas reserve on the planet (475 trillion cubic feet). Exploiting this gas can drop our greenhouse gas emmissions faster and more effectively than any "green technology" we have available at the moment. Money will rule --- with a gas reserve this big, we have a potential "game changer" in SA. We can develop our economy, make real inroads into climate change improvement, provide hundreds of thousands of jobs for our impoverished population. So it's GOOD NEWS! Here's the thing all you idiots need to consider... This WILL HAPPEN because money rules! Now do you want it to happen respionsibly - exploited by international companies that are answerable to the world media and international lawsa - or would you rather have the Chinese come in here and do it with no regard for our environment? - simple choice really - I know what I'd prefer!

      hamish.drake1 - 2012-09-07 15:52

      Andrew, who do work for ?

      Madoqua - 2012-09-07 16:26

      lol no bias there at all Andrew? Commercial Expedience Violating Rational Objectivity Needs?

  • heinvt - 2012-09-07 15:38

    Put your moneys where your mouths are and support TKAG. Make donations so that they can fight this.

      lyellvanderwalt - 2012-09-07 21:45

      Put your money where your mouth is - agree 100% Unfortunately, sharing a picture on Facebook is everyone's attempt at activism these days - it's pathetic.

  • david.dogon - 2012-09-07 15:44

    If you want to boycott energy companies get off your damn computers and stop using electricity.

      aj.oosthuizen.7 - 2012-09-07 16:20

      You do realize your on a computer, do you? (or any other electrical device for that matter.....)

  • rob.gunning.1 - 2012-09-07 15:57

    Jan is full of lies and greed! Hope your children suffer the consequences Jan.

  • aj.oosthuizen.7 - 2012-09-07 16:24

    Although im pretty 'thumbs up' for anything that will boost our already struggeling economy, this is just to dangerous for use and the generations to come.... South Africa's (natuaral)beauty is probobly all that is left of our country, so, what would it be without it?

  • mike.clery - 2012-09-07 17:34

    Exploiting the gas reserves is probably the only thing that can save SA. Surely no-one believes that things can just carry on as they are?

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-09-07 19:18

    Frack Shell

  • billyf100 - 2012-09-07 20:31

    To all the bunny-huggers who do not want development of energy sources - you do not want nuclear, coal-fired power stations or gas. I therefore challenge you all to reduce all your energy consumption, electric and liquid fuels to 20% from tomorrow. Better still, buy a horse (oops methane for global warming), go to bed at sunset and use no grid electricity. Remember that energy use and GDP go hand in hand.

  • daniel.w.gie - 2012-09-07 22:38

    how much is being donated to the ANC

  • dan.cooper.9634 - 2012-09-08 21:28

    To HELL with SHELL

  • Denise Oosthuizen Wilshire - 2013-08-22 14:04

    ROYAL DUTCH SHELL RESPONSIBLE in the same sentence. L.O.L.

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