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South Africa: Shell fracking in semi-desert Karoo

How do farmers prove that Shell has polluted their lands, what lengths people have to go through to get their rights?


From pages 35, 36 & 37 of “Royal Dutch Shell and its sustainability troubles” – Background report to the Erratum of Shell’s Annual Report 2010

The report is made on behalf of Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands)
Author: Albert ten Kate: May 2011.

Farmers, scientists, NGOs, a Dutch princess, a business tycoon, a long-distance swimmer, a Facebook account with already 6,500 members as of 19 April 2011. Royal Dutch Shell is facing strong opposition to its plans to get an exploration license to seek shale gas in South Africa’s semi-desert Karoo region.

The consulting firm Golder Associates, working on behalf of Shell, drafted an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for three exploration areas, each comprising 30,000 kilometres. Until 5 April 2011, the public was allowed to comment to these plans. The drilling of a maximum of 24 wells was not expected to commence before 2012. Golder stated in its conclusions to the EMPs that there was no material evidence that a small number of exploration wells could result in an unacceptable level of environmental impact, and that therefore the determination of the resource potential of the Karoo shale gas formations not should be prevented or delayed. As long as the siting and management of the wells would be controlled through a rigorous, scientific Environmental Impact Assessment process, it would be unlikely that the construction would result in unacceptable environmental damage, the company continued.

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Shell’s failure to protect Nigeria pipeline ‘led to sabotage’

Shell Nigeria’s declaration this week that it cannot meet its international commitment to export 300,000 barrels a day of crude oil was caused by the company withdrawing contracts to pay people to monitor and protect the pipeline, Shell and independent reports indicate.

guardian.co.uk home

Attacks on key pipeline force company to declare ‘force majeure’ and reduce exports by 300,000 barrels a day

A man holds a shell coated in oil from a polluted river in the Niger delta. Photograph: Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters

Shell Nigeria‘s declaration this week that it cannot meet its international commitment to export 300,000 barrels a day of crude oil was caused by the company withdrawing contracts to pay people to monitor and protect the pipeline, Shell and independent reports indicate.

Nine oil spills in three weeks along one pipeline in the Niger Delta have forced Shell Nigeria to declare that it cannot meet its international contracts to export 300,000 barrels a day of crude oil.

Nine oil spills in three weeks along the Adibawa-Okordia pipeline in the Niger Delta are believed to be the result of sabotage by disaffected youths using hacksaws. An unknown quantity of oil has been lost and, since 2 August, fishing grounds and farmland have been polluted . With three more spills reported in the last 24 hours it appears that the company has now lost some control of the pipeline.

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EU prepares to embargo Syrian oil in line with US

The new measures if approved are unlikely, however, to prevent European oil companies such as Royal Dutch Shell or Total from continuing to produce crude in Syria through joint ventures.


By Justyna Pawlak: 25 August 2011

European Union governments are likely to embargo imports of Syrian oil next week to ratchet up pressure on president Bashar al-Assad, although new sanctions may be less stringent than those imposed by Washington, EU diplomats said.

A round of discussions was held in Brussels on Tuesday and EU capitals raised no objections to banning Syrian crude imports, in a move similar to a decision by the US earlier this month

The new measures if approved are unlikely, however, to prevent European oil companies such as Royal Dutch Shell or Total from continuing to produce crude in Syria through joint ventures.

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Shell defends reporting of North Sea oil spill

The government also announced that an independent investigation is underway into the causes of the spill and Shell’s response.

By James Murray: 24 August 2011

Shell has defended its much-criticised reporting of this month’s North Sea oil spill, but has stopped short of providing a full picture of how the decision to announce the spill was made.

The company has recently been under fire from green groups. These have accused the oil giant of failing to provide transparent information on the largest UK oil spill in the past decade, after it emerged that the spill was first detected on Wednesday 10th August, but was not publicly confirmed until two days later.

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