Thursday, March 17, 2011

Revenue-chasing PASA is ‘fracking’ friendly


Cape Town, South Africa, March 17th, 2011

Revenue-chasing PASA is ‘fracking’ friendly

Reacting to a Cape Times report today in which PASA’s geology manager, Jennifer Marot came out strongly in support of fracking, Jonathan Deal of the Treasure the Karoo Action Group (TKAG) commented that the observations of Ms. Marot were premature and ill-informed.

“One wonders why, at a time, when first world countries are imposing bans and moratoriums on hydraulic fracturing (fracking), the South African government and PASA are even considering this technology,” asked Deal who had just returned from two public participation meetings with Shell in Sutherland and Beaufort West. “Public participation at these meetings is supposed to be meaningful, but exactly the opposite happened. Golder Associates firmly control the agenda and content of the meeting. Much of the meeting is taken up with technical detail and graphs, and one can see that most of the audience has lost interest before the questions even start” said Deal.

“If Golder were more independent and Shell actually interested in the Karoo community they would not expect anyone, especially farmers and rural people in the water-poor Karoo, to read, digest and comment on their ‘draft’ EMP (more than 250 pages), in a time frame of 20 working days.  We also question how Ms. Marton of PASA arrives at an estimated lifespan of 20-30 years for gas wells, when the bulk of empirical data from the USA confirms  5–15 years. It clearly suits PASA, (cash strapped by their own admission), and of course Golder (in line for the next consulting contract in the EIA phase) and Shell, to punt this destructive and invasive practice as ‘being good for South Africa,’ he continued.

Deal concluded that “The reality of it is, when promising jobs to Karoo folk in the next few years, (the Karoo has the lowest rate of unemployment across SA) the greedy oil barons and those dependent on them, should also be asking those same people “Where will your children work? where will your children live? – because after the drilling is finished and the gas exhausted, the Karoo will be a wasteland. South Africa doesn’t want a gas resource that will destroy the Karoo, as it has done large tracts of the US, so we don’t see why any company should be permitted to explore for shale gas.”

·         About TKAG – Treasure the Karoo Action group is the coordinating body, representing a broad range of stakeholders who are concerned with the plans of Oil and Mining companies to extract shale gas from the Karoo basin. Popular support can be followed and joined on Facebook and at the web address <>

·  FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact Jonathan Deal 
and telephone 076-838-5150  and 023 358 9902.
Please quote ref: TKAG004/3/11



  1. I'm writing an article for my blog on how Shell's hydraulic fracturing will impact South Africa's bid to host the Square Kilometer Array and I've been fortunate enough to be granted access to several notable people involved, including geologists, MPs, astronomers, and engineers. Your site is an excellent additional resource for me. Thank you for taking the effort to compile and post all of this information. It is important that people know about these issues.

  2. If you need a body to lie in front of a grader, let me know! Promise I'm not weird!