Fracking the Karoo: Shell temporarily shelves plans

MARCH 16, 2015

Shell South Africa on Monday announced that it was pulling its fracking experts out of the country amidst delays in the legislation governing the exploration and mining of the underground gas in the Karoo region.

It, however, said it had not given up on its shale gas plans but put them on hold as it weathered a financial crunch caused by the plummeting oil price.

Companies competing in South Africa’s shale gas sector are reportedly growing increasingly frustrated by the legislative delays.

Shell South Africa’s Chairman, Bonang Mohale, also said the international oil price more than halved, forcing companies to bunker down.

“Royal Dutch Shell decided that it needed to hold back amid aggressive growth and expansion in more than 90 companies where it has a presence. In South Africa where we have been for 113 years, we adopted a low cost holding position.”

Mohale said once the legislation had been finalised, the team could be reassembled quickly.