Fin24

Shell pledges R1.4bn for Karoo exploration

2011-09-01 15:30

Cape Town - Royal Dutch Shell said on Thursday it hoped to invest $200m (about R1.4bn) to explore for shale gas in the Karoo - plans facing tough opposition from farmers and greens worried about the environmental impact.

Ecological concerns led the government to place a moratorium on oil and gas exploration licences in the region, where the controversial shale extraction technique of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" might be deployed.

“If exploration efforts prove that shale contains commercially producible gas volumes, then South Africa could see production from this source within a decade,” Jan Willem Eggink, general manager upstream ventures for Shell’s South African unit, told a news conference.

Petrochemical group Sasol, Anglo American and Falcon Oil and Gas are among those eyeing shale gas in the region, with Shell leading the pack with exploration rights pending to 90 000km².

Farmers and conservationists are worried about the possible impact of fracking, in which drillers blast millions of litres of water, sand and chemicals at high pressure into underground rock to create cracks for the gas and oil to escape.

The sparsely-populated Karoo is renowned for its rugged scenery and is home to rare species such as the mountain zebra and riverine rabbit, putting it high on the radar screen of conservationists.

Those in favour of fracking in the Karoo say the discovery of gas would help South Africa plug a chronic power shortage and reduce dependence on harmful coal-fired power stations. About 90% of the nation’s electricity is supplied by coal.

“By drawing on potential abundant domestic gas supplies, you can meet rising energy demand while maintaining energy security,” Eggink said.

He said he believed South Africa could well have at least half of an estimated 13.73 trillion m³ of trapped shale gas, enough to be commercially viable and allow the country to become energy self-sufficient for decades to come.

Eggink said the company would not compete with farmers for scarce water resources and would likely truck in water initially before trying to pipe it by using the brackish water found deep underground.

Eggink said Shell would also consider paying landowners for access to their land, although no compensation policy has been finalised yet.

Comments
  • JanSlim - 2011-09-01 15:12

    What am I missing here ... "South Africa has imposed a moratorium on exploration licenses in the region" so Shell go frack somewhere else! I have boycotted Shell service stations since they started with their nonsense, have also talked family and friends into doing the same. At this rate I am sure Shell will be losing more than they will gain. Cant understand why they dont do the math, it's a total PR disaster!

  • FIO - 2011-09-01 15:28

    The gas wont benefit us in terms of power supply, too much money already in coal. We have enough coal to last many decades, its cheaper, employs a lot of people, and Eskom has to make its money back on what has been invested in new power stations. The gas will just make some people richer, and we as ordinary South Africans will still pay the same for electricity, gas or no gas. As for carbon pollution - get real, who in power really cares? The real beneficiaries will be Shell shareholders and government officials, as well as anyone who else who accepts a "beneficiation" payment. I have enough knowledge of how permits and go-aheads are granted, every person on the way up the ladder only signs when there is some personal benefit. Believe me, this project will happen simply because enough "people in power" will be rewarded for endorsing it.

  • Johan - 2011-09-01 15:33

    Really, seriously now when are you gonna get the message. Must we start an open revolt against shell before you will go and stuff up your own flat country. We know you have no appreciation for anything beautiful as your own piece of cloud covered flatland is so damn depressing. Why do we South Africans allow these idiots from Europe and Australia to even enter our shores. No other country will allow this.

  • exile - 2011-09-01 15:37

    ja, right!

  • Rob Rabbit - 2011-09-01 15:38

    Frack them!

  • Louis - 2011-09-01 15:40

    Poes

  • Robbie - 2011-09-01 15:43

    Go away Shell!

  • louis.schreiber - 2011-09-01 15:44

    Just go watch the movie gasland and we should not allow fracking

  • JackyMoon - 2011-09-01 15:44

    Klein Karoo inwoners - dis jul plig om Shell te beveg al die pad!!!!!

  • GypseyAnn - 2011-09-01 15:51

    GO TO HELL SHELL AND FRACK OFF WITH YOUR BIG MONEY!

  • Dirky - 2011-09-01 15:53

    Dear Shell, start the process, build the gas plants........so we can Nationalise you in the end anyway. Go well...go Shell...Frak, did i get that right.

  • Brad Stilwell - 2011-09-01 15:59

    When are these tools going to get the message? All of the above mentioned is propaganda and plain nonsense. Shell doesn't give two hoots about the local people and I assure you it will affect local water resources. It's all about money for these guys. Reading between the lines it's apparent: "hoped to invest $200m", "energy demand" , "energy security", "energy self-sufficient", "13.73 trillion m³ of trapped shale gas", "compensation policy". They are plainly interested in one thing: energy. and they pay whomever off to get it. Their concern for natural heritage and water resources is a very distant second priority. "Truck water in"? Where is that water going to come from? Cape Town? What a joke! Shell find another solution. We're not interested in your current greasy agenda!

  • Jonathan - 2011-09-01 16:00

    Don't be fooled by these criminals! Do yourself a favour and watch these Youtube video's. DO NOT let this happen, this will be the end of the Karoo as we know it. Please stand up and don't allow the government to let these thugs in suits into our beautiful country! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2Nc-kxWfmc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZe1AeH0Qz8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW_xJqPjE_I

  • Paralegal - 2011-09-01 16:01

    NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES can they do this! Job creation? Really! And what are we to tell our children when the Karoo is no longer? "Sorry kids, but we needed the money to buy a nice new car"! Shell can stick it where the sun don't shine.

  • Jonathan - 2011-09-01 16:05

    DONT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN! SEARCH FOR "GASLAND" ON YOUTUBE AND YOU WILL SEE THE CONSEQUENCES OF FRACKING! ALLOW FRACKING AND IT WILL BE THE END OF THE KAROO, IT'S FAUNA, IT'S FLAURA AND IT'S FARMERS. UNITE AND SAY "NO TO FRACKING!!!" ALL SHELL CARES ABOUT IS MAKING MONEY AND EXPLOITING THE ENVIRONMENT. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

      FarmJoe - 2011-09-01 20:15

      I get your point

  • Jonathan - 2011-09-01 16:06

    DONT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN! SEARCH FOR "GASLAND" ON YOUTUBE AND YOU WILL SEE THE CONSEQUENCES OF FRACKING! ALLOW FRACKING AND IT WILL BE THE END OF THE KAROO, IT'S FAUNA, IT'S FLAURA AND IT'S FARMERS. UNITE AND SAY "NO TO FRACKING!!!" ALL SHELL CARES ABOUT IS MAKING MONEY AND EXPLOITING THE ENVIRONMENT. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

  • Jonathan - 2011-09-01 16:06

    DONT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN! SEARCH FOR "GASLAND" ON YOUTUBE AND YOU WILL SEE THE CONSEQUENCES OF FRACKING! ALLOW FRACKING AND IT WILL BE THE END OF THE KAROO, IT'S FAUNA, IT'S FLAURA AND IT'S FARMERS. UNITE AND SAY "NO TO FRACKING!!!" ALL SHELL CARES ABOUT IS MAKING MONEY AND EXPLOITING THE ENVIRONMENT. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

  • Alan - 2011-09-01 16:06

    Rubbish - Shell is only after Dollars Profit - they have already proved that the do not care about the environment by all the enviromental disasters they have caused in Africa. Check out Lewis Gordon Pugh's take on Shell's fracking to get the true facts. Everybody should stand up and boycott Shell products, and put pressure on Govt. to make it harder for Shell to bribe corrupt politicians. THis country belongs to ALL OF US - not the Govt, and NOT SHELL.

  • Jonathan - 2011-09-01 16:06

    DONT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN! SEARCH FOR "GASLAND" ON YOUTUBE AND YOU WILL SEE THE CONSEQUENCES OF FRACKING! ALLOW FRACKING AND IT WILL BE THE END OF THE KAROO, IT'S FAUNA, IT'S FLAURA AND IT'S FARMERS. UNITE AND SAY "NO TO FRACKING!!!" ALL SHELL CARES ABOUT IS MAKING MONEY AND EXPLOITING THE ENVIRONMENT. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

  • Jonathan - 2011-09-01 16:06

    DONT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN! SEARCH FOR "GASLAND" ON YOUTUBE AND YOU WILL SEE THE CONSEQUENCES OF FRACKING! ALLOW FRACKING AND IT WILL BE THE END OF THE KAROO, IT'S FAUNA, IT'S FLAURA AND IT'S FARMERS. UNITE AND SAY "NO TO FRACKING!!!" ALL SHELL CARES ABOUT IS MAKING MONEY AND EXPLOITING THE ENVIRONMENT. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

  • Jonathan - 2011-09-01 16:07

    DONT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN! SEARCH FOR "GASLAND" ON YOUTUBE AND YOU WILL SEE THE CONSEQUENCES OF FRACKING! ALLOW FRACKING AND IT WILL BE THE END OF THE KAROO, IT'S FAUNA, IT'S FLAURA AND IT'S FARMERS. UNITE AND SAY "NO TO FRACKING!!!" ALL SHELL CARES ABOUT IS MAKING MONEY AND EXPLOITING THE ENVIRONMENT. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

  • Jonathan - 2011-09-01 16:10

    DONT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN! SEARCH FOR "GASLAND" ON YOUTUBE AND YOU WILL SEE THE CONSEQUENCES OF FRACKING! ALLOW FRACKING AND IT WILL BE THE END OF THE KAROO, IT'S FAUNA, IT'S FLAURA AND IT'S FARMERS. UNITE AND SAY "NO TO FRACKING!!!" ALL SHELL CARES ABOUT IS MAKING MONEY AND EXPLOITING THE ENVIRONMENT. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

  • Alan - 2011-09-01 16:19

    Big deal Shell - problem is that our environment is priceless! Anybody wanting to know the TRUTH of the fracking issue should google Gordon Lewis Pugh (The Human Polar Bear). Then go figure is you want to believe Shell's lip service, especially with their dismal record of environmental disasters in Africa. We don't want our country's resources raped for dollars.

  • Ed - 2011-09-01 16:27

    Dont these a55holes get the point??? We dont care about the fact that they are 'bribing' us with R1.4b in expenditure! People do not want this to happen...besides, where will that R1.4b be spent? It will be spent on their own international suppliers and on equipment that has to be imported anyway. That means diddly squat to us...Shell must seriously go and f-off.

      NickArmstron - 2011-09-01 17:13

      Brilliantly put Ed!! Shell - f#ck off!!!! BOYCOTT Shell people! I no longer use Shell products - been boycotting them for months now - spread the word... :) The vermin THINK they can steam-roller us, the public, and how we feel - well - let's show them with our wallets and purses - boycott the vermin!

      birdman - 2011-09-01 22:44

      R1,4B wont even build a soccer stadium - think about it! It's chump change for the chumps!

  • Sharkie - 2011-09-01 16:29

    Wow all the "benefits" for South Africa? And why is Shell soooo interested if we the one's comming out in top.

  • oddearring - 2011-09-01 16:33

    Shell must fix the mess it made elsewhere in Africa, especially the Niger Delta, before they can even BEGIN to discuss exploration in South Africa.

  • Johnny - 2011-09-01 16:38

    How thick is Mr Eggink's skin? which part of "p**s off, we don't want you here" does he not understand? You are not welcome, Mr Eggink. Please leave and rape some other place. Your reputation has preceded you.

      NickArmstron - 2011-09-01 17:06

      Well said Johnny!! F#ck these Big Oil vermin!! Shell must get out of Africa for that matter! These scum-vermin-cockroaches are the same vermin that have defiled many parts of the Niger Delta and other parts of Africa - and left the local communities struggling with the oily mess and environmental disasters left behind - as a consequence of their drilling for oil! These scum enrich themselves (and the local politicians in their pockets) - while the local communities see none of the oil wealth - and are left to survive amongst ecological and environmental disasters... Fracking in the Karoo WILL pollute the environment AND the underground water. And when it happens - all Shell will say is "Oops - sorry"... And - who will foot the impossible clean-up bill - you and me - the taxpayer! Just like who's going to pay for the underground mine-water seepage problem in Jozi - the taxpayer and local rate payers - as the mining companies run away saying "Oops - not us"...... I urge ALL South Africans to please - PLEASE - BOYCOTT Shell! It's simple - fill up at Engen; SASOL; Caltex; Total - there are plenty of others. Let you and me - the person in the street who cares - show these scum-pigs how we feel!!!

      Barry - 2011-09-02 08:29

      @ Nick Did you actually read the article , "Petrochemical group Sasol, Anglo American and Falcon Oil and Gas are among those eyeing shale gas in the region" Boycotting Shell will serve no purpose , Sasol or anglo would simply get the deal. You think Sasol is not also a "big oil vermin" ?

  • camissa - 2011-09-01 16:41

    How much did naspers get paid to run this shell press release?

  • davelardner - 2011-09-01 16:54

    How much of the R1.4b will go to politicians to ensure that their application is successful?

  • ajoelofse - 2011-09-01 17:01

    Seriously, go watch "Gasland" (http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/) about how Fracking is working for the Americans. This should not be allowed.

  • GA - 2011-09-01 17:04

    Google http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/. Watch this film - only those who plan to make big money can see fracking as an option. The terms greens/environmentalist/conservationist used here are laughable - fracking implies death, destruction and poisoning of people, animals and land

  • GA - 2011-09-01 17:16

    Get on with it Im in the oil industry and would like to work closer to home Done loads of fracking work with no problems

      Askari.za - 2011-09-01 19:16

      Because you frack and then f^%&k off and leave the mess for others to suffer.

      whereu - 2011-09-02 12:28

      I also worked in the oil industry (for 26 years) and don't trust them to look after anybody or anything other than their shareholders and “performance bonuses”.

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-09-01 17:57

    And I,pledge never to use Shell again! Anybody joining me? The sad thing is,somehow some comrade will get a few million and this deal will be allowed

      Netherlander - 2011-09-01 18:57

      All the "COMRADE" wants, is to have HIS NAME AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LETTERHEAD!!!!!!!! Bloody BONEHEADS!!!

      Patience - 2011-09-02 18:29

      Well, gatvol, I'm so with you on this. I will email every contact I have and ask them to stop using Shell service stations. Just drive past - give them a miss.

  • Krokodilla - 2011-09-01 18:24

    Neeeee...!

  • Pietpetoors - 2011-09-01 19:15

    Get these guys out of the way. I've been touring the northern part of the West Coast last week and it is heart breaking to see how mines destroy our beautiful country. Don't let Shell ruin a beautiful part of our country as well.

  • Pietpetoors - 2011-09-01 19:25

    Why dont Shell rather spend R1.4bn on developing solar power or Hydrogen cars, it would be a better investment

  • Ruben32 - 2011-09-02 06:12

    Shell must go f&$k themselves

  • Farmerman - 2011-09-02 06:30

    So what you going to do with this money Spend it it on bribes or on what you still have not said what it will be used for. Eggink you bloody idiot the contamination does not come from your fracking or the contractors fracking it is from the spills and waste water you fool, Dont you know of your spill in PA USA on your first hole you drilled that is contaminated already and you have not even started fracking. Oh yes you were handed a newspaper covering a story.

  • Condor - 2011-09-02 09:49

    Much like the "pledges" made regarding the Niger Delta, the North Sea and all of the other environments that have been permanently and irrepairably compromised by Shell. This is a parasitic company devoid of credibility and integrity. Boycott Shell!!

  • ryanxxx - 2011-09-02 13:31

    People need to stand together against this money hungry , greedy company they will destroy the Karroo , they are just a very good example of why the world is in the shape it is today , will destroy everything for the mighty buck , if they start fracking in the Karroo - no more clean water in the area , no more good quality free range hormone free meat , no more farmers - bye bye untouched piece of beautiful nature. we must stop using shell products they are evil.

  • Allan Tsemach - 2011-09-02 14:47

    Tell Shell and the other petroleum companies to p-$$ off, I'll ride a fuel-sipping scooter or ride a bicycle if I have to

  • Helena - 2011-09-05 10:38

    Watch SPlit Estate- even more shocking than Gasland. It shows footage shot with a special camera which allows one to see the poisonous gases coming off the waste water pools which are left around the wells. You don't hear about those. The water that comes out of the wells, filled with all the chemicals are left in dams on the farmers land. The gases coming off this water and chemical reservoirs built near the wells have been proven to give off more CO2 than a whole city of traffic. This is no answer to green house gasses given off by coal power. This is the most destructive short-sighted raping of the earth's resources and robbing of future generations ever. It is unbelievable what cold faced denial by the industry has allowed. When the last river is polluted, the last grain of sand poisoned. Is that when we figure that you can't eat money. Oh...I guess the people on the land will be stuck with that problem. The fat cats with the money, will be eating imported food and drinking imported water.

  • Ernest - 2011-11-13 23:52

    I agree that all the industry going on is ruining our beautiful land!!! It is not nesesary to get that gas, next year the Lesotho will generate electricity with the huge wall they build between those mountains in the river bed, creating a water generated elctricty and with the wind!! Lesotho, as they said, will help providing us with electricity and that will help a lot so stop the nonsense and give all those money to the government on the condition that they reduce tax and inflation!!!!! I'm pretty sure everyone will love Shell for such a dicision.....??

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