Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 20 July 2011
Oil companies were today (Tuesday) asked to drop their plans to use hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) to extract shale gas from the Karoo and other areas in South Africa.
Speaking at the Shale Gas Conference in Johannesburg, chairman of Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG) Jonathan Deal said there was not enough evidence at hand that the potential benefits of fracturing could outweigh the attached risks.
“At this juncture of our history, with climate warming on the increase and increased threats to water supplies it would make corporate and social sense to invest research and development funds in seeking renewable energy alternatives, rather than pursuing finite fossil fuels,” said Deal.
Deal was attending the 2011 Africa Gas and LNG Summit at the Hyatt Hotel in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
“TKAG respects due process and the current Cabinet moratorium on fracking. But this should not prevent oil and gas companies, such as Royal Dutch Shell, from changing their minds about fracking,” said Deal.
Deal also said there was not enough transparency about the departmental task team appointed to investigate the merits of fracking. “In the interest of playing open cards, we call on Energy Minister Dipuo Peters to disband this group. Repeated calls on her for clarity about the task team, and its terms of reference, have fallen on deaf ears.”
Deal said that fracking technology needs a rigorous evaluation that takes into account a number of technical, environmental, social, cultural and economic considerations.
He said that if Shell and other oil and gas companies were granted licences to explore or to produce without a comprehensive cost versus benefit evaluation of fracking’s affect, the Karoo could face a social and environmental disaster that would devastate the area and its people.
Issued by HWB Communications (Pty) Ltd on behalf of Treasure Karoo Action Group