AfriForum and the Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG) view Shell South Africa’s indication of its intention to withdraw from shale gas exploration in the Karoo as a major victory for those who care about the environment, TKAG said in a statement on Monday.
The Herald last week reported that Shell was pulling back from its Karoo shale gas exploration venture.
According to the newspaper, Shell spokesperson Dineo Pooe said the multinational was rescaling its Karoo team.
“With the low oil price environment, Shell has decided to rescale its Karoo team, reducing the number of staff while awaiting clarity on the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act, technical regulations and an exploration right award decision,” she was quoted as saying.
TKAG CEO Jonathan Deal said Shell initially claimed that it could extract about 485-trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas in the Karoo, a figure that has diminished to less than 30 tcf.
“We believe that ongoing activism and continuous legal pressure on fracking companies and government by AfriForum, TKAG and other pressure groups will ensure that companies like Bundu Gas and Oil, Sunset Oil and Gas, Falcon Oil and Gas, and Rhino Oil and Gas will shortly follow Shell and Sasol’s retraction of fracking plans in the water-scarce area,” he said.
He added that TKAG was not surprised to see Shell reviewing its fracking plans for the Karoo.