South Africa: Farmers seek halt on Karoo shale gas exploration

karoo shale gas exploration

South African farmers want shale gas exploration and production in the Karoo region to be put on hold until the extraction methods are proven environmentally safe, an industry group said on Thursday.

The government last month placed an indefinite moratorium on the processing of all new exploration and production rights in the Karoo, but this did not affect applications already in the pipeline.

“We are asking the minister to put a moratorium on further exploration and especially production of gas until we can be sure the processes that will be used will be safe on the environment and underground water,” Johannes Moller, president of Agri SA, told reporters.

Public concern focuses on the extraction method known as hydraulic shale gas fracking karoofracturing or fracking, in which drillers blast millions of litres of water, sand and chemicals at high pressure in underground rock formations to create cracks for gas and oil to escape more easily.

Royal Dutch Shell, petrochemicals group Sasol, Anglo American, Falcon Oil and Gas, and Bundu Gas and Oil Exploration, are among those eyeing shale gas in the region.

Shale gas could bring a much needed fresh source of energy to Africa’s largest economy, which is heavily reliant on coal.

“We realize that if the country wants to draw international investment, we must be energy sufficient, but the process that is to be used (in the Karoo) has not been tested to be safe,” Moller said.

He added: “If we cannot negotiate this moratorium with the minister then we will go as far as considering applying for an interdict to stop this process until it is proved safe.”

Farmers were worried about the sensitivity of the underground water systems upon which the Karoo is totally dependent, should contamination occur.

According to findings from a US Congressional probe several energy companies there may have violated environmental rules by injecting diesel into the ground without permits as part of the controversial drilling technique.

Source: Reuters

Shale gas ‘fracking’ has already been banned in some parts of the world; isn’t that enough to raise questions about its environmental safety?  South Africa, and especially the Karoo is a water scarce region and any risk to its precious groundwater supplies should be avoided at all costs…”you can’t drink money”.

Water Rhapsody Water Conservation Systems and Yes Solar Mpumalanga offer eco-friendly rainwater collection systems, rainwater tanks, grey water recycling, swimming pool backwash recycling, water-saving toilet flush mechanisms and high quality Solsquare solar water geysers.

Contact us for a FREE QUOTE on a solar water heater, rainwater harvesting system (see rainwater FAQ), gray water recycling system or water tank (we are authorized South African JoJo Water Tanks dealers and supply the full range of JoJo water tanks and JoJo tank stands).  Our water tank prices are hard to beat in the Mpumalanga & Limpopo Lowveld.

Water conservation and renewable energy such as solar energy are two issues that affect the global community; make a difference and start conserving water and switch to renewable energy today.

, , , , ,