Johannesburg - Shell
has indicated it is likely to spend about R1.6bn on the exploration of shale
gas in the Karoo as cabinet looks set to give the green light to the removal of
the fracking moratorium, according to an article in Business Report.
Shell SA general manager Jan Willem Eggink reportedly told
the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry that the company would spend R1.6bn
should cabinet give the go-ahead.
But cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said a report by the
department of mineral resources had not been discussed by the cabinet on
Energy Minister Dipuo Peters has repeatedly voiced support
for fracking. Last month, Peters said concerns about fracking needed to be
overcome through research and technology.
"We cannot allow a blessing to lie fallow... If shale
gas is one of the blessings, we are going to go for it," Peters said.
Cape Town Chamber of Commerce president Michael Bagraim said
in the report that the government needed to allow for more time to consider the
pros and cons of fracking.
“We don’t want to get into the green versus the big business
debate,” Bagraim said.
Fracking involves pumping a mixture of water, sand and
chemicals at high pressure down a borehole into the rock strata containing the
The process releases the gas, which flows out of the
borehole to the surface, where it is captured.