karoo group cautions NPC on fracking

Submitted by incoming on Fri, 2012-03-16 12:53

The National Planning Commission is wrong to consider mining for shale gas in the Karoo when there are more viable, known gas deposits to be exploited, which will be far less threatening to the environment.

This is the view of TKAG Chairman, Jonathan Deal, in response to a report by Minister Trevor Manuel that the NPC saw natural gas providing a rising share of the energy mix.

"Natural gas undoubtedly has a role to play in the energy mix of South Africa. Deposits such as the 2.5tcf (trillion cubic feet) held by Forest Exploration International off South Africa’s west coast is a prime example of a supply that could keep the Western Cape in gas for decades. "

"And this is miniscule compared to the reported finds off Mozambique", he added.
"And Royal Dutch Shell are making plans to explore off-shore in the Orange River basin."
According to Deal, "The point is that South Africa has a viable alternative to fracking. Offshore, natural gas can be developed faster and bypass the plethora of strategic and environmental issues that are facing proponents of shale gas mining”.

“TKAG met with the NPC in February and highlighted a number of concerns in relation to the debate on whether or not it would be in the interests of SA to pursue this technology. Notwithstanding any other of the issues raised at this meeting, the inescapable fact that Minister Shabangu’s task team has taken less than 6 months to complete an investigation that is taking America four years, militates against the issue of exploration licences in SA.”

"Our Cabinet promised in April 2011 that ‘the full implications’ of shale gas mining would be ‘fully investigated’ and that ‘clean environment together with all the ecological aspects will not be compromised’.

“It would be irresponsible of any person with an understanding of the real facts of shale gas mining to stand by and permit the technology to be licensed in this country until a thorough strategic evaluation and a cost-benefit analysis have been completed”.

"Even Shell’s own consultants recommended that no decision should be made before the Americans had decided in their own country”, concluded Deal.