|Area to be Fracked 12x the size of Kruger|
Battle for the Karoo
Fracking has become a dirty word in the Karoo. Shell,Falcon, Bundu and Sasol are opposed in their quest for shale gas by an unprecedented wave of public support.
What is Fracking?
Short for ‘hydrulic fracturing’, fracking is a method used to release methane gas from shale rocks deep underground.
It involves injecting millions of litres of water, mixed with sand and toxic chemicals, deep underground at high pressure to release Methane gas. It was first used in America to ease the last oil or gas out of wells. The technique was adapted to an even more effective method called horizontal slickwater fracking, which uses much more water and chemical additives.
Every fracking event (and a single well can be fracked several times) uses around 6 million to 25 million litres of precious water. Frackers will say that less than 1% of the mix is chemicals. But that works out to between 60000 and 250000 litres per event.
The identity of the chemicals is kept secret under corporate proprietary.
Government has already given permission to four consortiums to explore for Shale gas (methane) using this method. Shell’s public consultation was the most open and drew the most attention. Before then Sunset Energy and Falcon Oil and Gas were already through to the ‘second round’
The effective concession area granted for fracking is roughly the size of 12 and a half Kruger National Parks
The sheer scale of the project is shocking; there will be wells, compressor stations and condensers every few kilometres over the entire area along with thousands of very large trucks.
The big shocker is the water. It is wholesale water pollution on an a scale this country has never seen before, Shell is considering sea water or sewage water, this will only make matters worse.
It affects key food security areas, producing most of South Africa’s red meat, fibre and maize.
Within it fall critical river catchments-the Great Fish, Sundays River, Caledon and the mother river the Orange, in the heart of the area lies our largest water storage dam Gariep.
America fracked up, down the line after years of fracking pollution, noise and water, are all over, see the You Tube clip of a man holding a lighter to his tap and setting the water alight.
Join the growing group of protest lodge your objection NOW
Johathan Deal Author of “Timeless Karoo” Facebook page “Chase Shell out of the Karoo”
TKAG “Treasure the Karoo Action Group”
Earthlife Africa, Southern Cape Land Committee, WWF-SA, The Endangered Wild Life Trust, Federation for a Sustainable Environment, Birdlife South Africa, Wildlife and Environment Society of Southern Africa’s Centre for Environmental Rights, Greenpease Africa, The Wilderness Foundation, and dozens of farmers organisations.
Johann Rupert “It would be criminally negligent of Shell to push ahead with their application without gathering comprehensive research on the Karoo’s highly sensitive water systems, geology and natural environment…..”
Gary Player, Princess Irene of the Netherlands, Ian Player.
For more information on Fracking and the American experience
Read the May 2011 edition of Country life