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Richemont’s Rupert Opposes Shell’s Gas Plans in Karoo, Star Says

By Nasreen Seria – Jan 31, 2011 7:05 AM GMT

Cie. Financiere Richemont SA Chairman Johann Rupert is opposed to a plan by Royal Dutch Shell Plc to explore for gas in South Africa’s Karoo region until further environmental studies are conducted, the Star reported, citing Rupert.

Shell must do further tests on the possible impact of its exploration on the water systems, geology and environment, Rupert told a public meeting in the Karoo town of Graaff-Reinet on Jan. 28, the Johannesburg-based newspaper said. Rupert, who owns farms in the area, said Shell could risk “ecological damage” that could be worse than BP Plc’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Star reported.

Shell, Europe’s largest oil company, secured a permit to explore for shale gas over 185,000 square kilometers (71,000 square miles) in the Karoo Basin in December 2009. Dennis Matsane, a spokesman for Shell in South Africa, wasn’t immediately available to comment when called by Bloomberg News.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nasreen Seria in Johannesburg at [email protected].

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at [email protected]

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