Hydraulic fracturing is safe - Shell SA

Shell SA on Thursday said while it supports government’s decision to research the effect of fracking in...

A member of the Treasure the Karoo Action Group participates in a protest at Parliament in Cape Town on Tuesday, 5 April 2011. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA

Shell SA on Thursday said while it supports government’s decision to research the effect of fracking in the Karoo, the practice is safe.

Cabinet announced on Thursday that it is endorsing a decision by the Department of Minerals to invoke a moratorium on fracking until the full implications are established.

Hydraulic fracturing is a technique used for extracting shale gas from deep underground by pumping a pressurised mixture of water, sand and chemicals down drill holes.

A multi disciplinary team will now fully research the practice.

Shell Chairman Bonang Mohale said he is not against cabinet’s decision but there needs to be more clarity on the moratorium adding experts have shown that the practice is safe.

“And they have said they have not found any evidence of chemical contamination of water from fracking chemicals but this was accentuated by Scott Anderson, who is also the director of Environmental Defense Fund, who said Hydraulic fracturing is a safe technique,” said Mohale.