Shell’s about-turn on fracking hailed

FRACTURED SIGN: Shell has announced it is reviewing its interest in shale gas exploration in the Karoo. This forgotten sign was photographed at the entrance to the farm Kleinpoort in the Baviaans region recently

Petroleum group to review Karoo project in light of oil price

RESEARCH into the viability of shale gas extraction in the Karoo remains a top priority for the Eastern Cape, despite Shell’s sudden lack of interest in fracking.

The applicant for the biggest exploration licence area in the Karoo said at the weekend it was reviewing the competitiveness of this critically and other Shell projects outside of the Americas in the light of the low oil price.

While anti-fracking lobby groups were yesterday still celebrating Shell’s refocus as “the beginning of the end of shale gas developments in the Karoo”, academics said shale gas research projects in the province and South Africa would continue unaffected, and could even benefit from Shell’s new positioning.

Shell South Africa spokeswoman Dineo Pooe said the review meant adjusted activities and confirmed the pulling out of certain core personnel.

-Cindy Preller

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