Responding to media questions relating to the announcement by Royal Dutch Shell that the company is disassembling its executive team on Karoo shale gas, TKAG leader, Jonathan Deal suggested that the public move may be a clever ploy by Shell to pressure the government into moving faster with regulations and licences. Shell is still awaiting an exploration right from government, along with Bundu and Falcon, the other two applicants for shale gas exploration.“Shell is a seasoned campaigner and what may at first blush appear to be a withdrawal from Karoo shale gas, may just be a Trojan horse. International oil prices, a longer-than-expected licensing process and community opposition have all played a role in this current situation” said Deal. “However, I believe that the overriding pressure is to be found in the growing ‘pariah status’ of the technology. Globally, the well-laid and handsomely financed plans of the oil and gas lobby are failing, as the real truth of the unsustainability and risky nature of shale mining emerges.”Arguing that ‘no responsible government can afford to ignore international and peer-reviewed scientific data’, Deal pointed to recent decisions in Scotland, Wales, Algeria, Canada and New York that illustrated a real and pressing reason for South Africa to put the brakes on its rush to licence Shell and others in the Karoo.“President Zuma’s utterings on shale gas from as early as his State of the Nation Address in 2014, are surely now regretted by the ANC as being ill-considered and premature. The Government knows full well that it has to commit to a scientifically structured and holistic investigation in the form of a strategic environmental assessment. I am convinced that it is this process that will expose the unsuitability of shale gas as part of South Africa’s energy mix,” he explained. “To state publicly before even the most cursory exploration that ’shale gas will be an economic game changer’ is irresponsible of President Zuma.”
“In any event, TKAG and its alliance partners, including Afriforum remain ready to pursue legal action should this become necessary.”
Jonathan Deal 076-838-5150 or 023-358-9903 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeanie Le Roux 072-959-1818 or email@example.com
Quote by TKAG CEO, Jonathan Deal
The news that Royal Dutch Shell and possibly other global oil and gas players are shifting their focus from Karoo gas exploration is most encouraging. It’s high time that the negative aspects around shale gas as a technology came home to roost. TKAG has warned since February 2011 that:1. Shale gas does not produce the numbers of jobs claimed by the oil and gas lobby;2. Jobs are specialised and unsustainable;
3. Even the best shale gas wells deplete very rapidly;
4. Global estimates of shale gas reserves have been routinely overstated by US agencies and this misinformation
has been perpetutated by the likes of Shell;
5. Large scale environmental pollution, including pollution of groundwater sources has been concealed behind
non-disclosure agreements while oil company executives continue to lie to the public; and
6. The South African government has foolishly touted fracking as an economic game changer in the face of solid
alternative evidence that establishes a case for application of great caution in such a decision.
In the last 4 months alone, we have seen confirmation of fracking being banned or at the least placed under extended moratoria in two Canadian provinces, Algeria, Scotland, Wales
and New York State. Even in Shell’s home country, the Netherlands, fracking is under moratorium until 2017. This brings close to 150 the number of places where the technology is under attack.
All of this aside, fracking remains a process that risks community health and water supplies. It poses a threat to established and critical sustainable jobs in agriculture and tourism, and its economic benefits are increasingly being questioned by economists and international leaders. And it has been blamed for delaying the vital roll-out of renewable energy while governments have swallowed the marketing hype of the global oil and gas giants.
Even though the current situation in SA may have arisen through the dual influence of the SA Government’s mishandling of this issue and the drop in global oil prices, fracking will eventually be exposed as a bridge to nowhere for global communities.
Shell’s announcement: http://www.timeslive.co.za/businesstimes/2015/03/15/shell-gets-cold-feet-on-sa-shale-gas-audio
Jonathan Deal, CEO. Treasure Karoo Action Group 076-838-5150
Jeanie Le Roux – Director – 072-959-1818