It’s a case of this news is bad news for Shell and the ANC


 

Odds mounting against fracking in South Africa and elsewhere

http://bit.ly/1jYi98S

This article is the first in a series of timelines detailing global developments in and around shale gas mining – the links will address media reports and occurrences in 2014. Separate and dynamic posts on 2013, 2012 and 2011 will follow. The current year will be updated regularly. Comment is welcomed, and submissions considered for addition to the table. AFTER VIEWING A LINK, USE YOUR BROWSER ‘BACK TO’ OPTION TO RETURN TO THIS POST

Global occurrences and media related to shale gas mining – 2014

June 27 | International film maker Jeffrey Barbee and earth Focus Report on Fracking in South Africa, UK and Poland
June 20 | Global Alliance launched
June 20 | SA Zoning laws threaten fracking
June 19 | Opposition mounts to SA mining law amendment
June 20 | New Mining Minister seeks to delay changes
June 19 | US State health employees muzzled on fracking
June 16 | US fracking industry takes it on the chin
June 17 | Fracking company Range Resources ordered to disclose chemicals
June 17 | Fracking in SA – profits for big business and costs for the citizens?
June 10 | The increasingly dislocated economics of oil production
June 10 | German officials pushing for fracking by 2015 face stiff opposition
June 08 | US inspections fail to keep pace with fracking – place environment at risk
June 08 | President Obama expresses frustration with climate change deniers – cites science
June 08 | Up to 10% of British Columbia Natural Gas Wells spewing methane – report
June 06 | US shale boom is over – cornucopians with egg on face
May 30 | SA legal firm counts SA energy from shale as worth 310 years
May 27 | Are the frackers going broke?

 

 

Webber Wentzel counts 310 years of Energy for SA from Karoo gas


Read the opening statement of SA law firm Webber Wentzel’s Pulane Kingston in a May 30 debate on national radio in South Africa. Kingston is a partner in the Oil and Gas practice of the firm. The debate motion (hosted jointly by WWF South Africa and SAFM – a national radio station), pitted two teams of ‘experts’ against one another. The formal motion was ‘FRACKING THREATENS OUR WATER RESOURCES’, and debaters were afforded 2 minutes for an opening statement.

Referencing ’emotional and alarmist statements’ [about shale gas] as something to avoid, Kingston embarked on an opening statement, that apart from failing even once to obliquely reference the debate motion, was materially inaccurate and curiously muddled for a legal professional and so-called expert on fracking. Basing her argument on obsolete figures of speculative shale gas reserves already slashed by South African scientists and referencing industry commissioned (Royal Dutch Shell) reports based on shale gas reserves 13 times greater than current best estimates, Kingston was apparently so taken with her calculation of 310 years of energy for South Africa out of speculated Karoo reserves that the issue of water, and the motion of the debate against which she was expected to argue, appeared to evaporate like a drop of water on a hot Karoo tin roof. A sober review of Kingston’s 310 year claim could be said by those with a more pragmatic approach to the speculative land of milk and honey, to earn first place in the joint categories of ’emotional and alarmist’. I have to conclude that if this position reflects the understanding and expertise of shale gas mining to be found in the top legal minds of South Africa, it demonstrates that the country is in a dire situation with regard to understanding the issues intrinsic to shale gas mining. A rigorous and structured follow-up debate with Kingston sans radio adverts, news reports and audience participation will be welcomed.

The opening statement can be viewed on Youtube at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXeSEPdu9xc and is here in text: (begins 14 minutes and 10 seconds into the debate)

PULANE KINGSTON:

“Shale gas presents an incredible opportunity with tremendous economic benefits overall. In the context of the shale gas reserves total which are estimated at 390 tcfs, there are two points that I would like to make. The first is that in terms of energy security it is estimated that the reserves that are available can meet our energy requirements for the next 310 years. That is significant. Secondly, in the context of job creation, they would create at least 850,000 jobs according to a report by Econometrix. The second point I would like to make is that as responsible citizens in this country, we need to really move away from emotion and alarmist statements that ultimately detract from our ability to focus on the risks in a sober minded manner and to ensure that those risks are appropriately attended. It is incumbent of all of us to do this in order that we end up at a place that is the correct conclusion. To my mind the fundamental issue here lies in the government creating a regulating framework that ensures the success of fracking in the Karoo which is done in a sustainable and responsible manner. The definition here for me as well is that monitoring shale gas fracking is ultimately what is important and should be what we are focusing on at all times.”

South African Anti-fracking alliance polls insurance industry


AfriForum & Treasure the Karoo Action Group

Media Statement  

 26 May 2014

 SOUTH AFRICAN INSURERS POLLED OVER FRACKING RISK

 

Treasure the Karoo Action Group (TKAG) and AfriForum have formally approached South African Insurers and the South African Insurance Association to clarify their policy on the unique risks presented by shale gas mining and ancillary activities.

With the advent of new technology and shale gas mining spreading at a rapid pace in the United States, insurance providers are scrambling to review their polices and adjust accordingly.

For many companies, such as Nationwide, one of the largest insurance companies in the United States, a thorough review of the damages that can arise due to fracking and other drilling activities, has led to the conclusion that it is better for the company to refuse coverage altogether for any damages related to fracking.

According to an internal memo outlining the company’s policy, “After months of research and discussion, we have determined that the exposures presented by hydraulic fracturing are too great to ignore. Risks involved with hydraulic fracturing are now prohibited for General Liability, Commercial Auto, Motor Truck Cargo, Auto Physical Damage and Public Auto (insurance) coverage.”  Unsurprisingly, this information has raised legal questions and valid concerns for many US home and property owners.

TKAG CEO, Jonathan Deal is of the opinion that the issue of liability for and indemnity from likely claims is something that communities, homeowners and farmers must be informed about. “The potential for loss here – as a result of an accident – or simply accumulated and unanticipated impacts over a period of time – is enormous, and anyone exposed to these risks – even road users, and people with occasional passing exposure to the activity has an undeniable right to be properly informed by their insurer ahead of time.”

A copy of the letter of enquiry in PDF format addressed to the South African Insurance Association and the specific companies is available on request from admin@treasurethekaroo.co.za

 ENDS/ 

Jonathan Deal

CEO: Treasure the Karoo Action Group

Landline: 023-358-9903

Cell 076-838-5150

E-mail: jonathan.deal@treasurethekaroo.co.za

 

 

Julius Kleynhans                                            Esmarie Prinsloo

Head: Environmental Affairs                          Head: Media Liaison

AfriForum                                                        AfriForum

Cell: 082 829 9182                                          Cell: 072 332 9824

E-mail: julius@afriforum.co.za                                   Email: esmarie@afriforum.co.za