Author: Dutta, Subhankar
Source: Amity Research Centre
Company Name: Royal Dutch Shell Company
Number of pages: 11
Royal Dutch Shell Company, one of the six oil and gas 'super majors' companies in the world, initiated one oil extraction project that created a controversy regarding the sustainability of environmental issues. The company aimed to extract potential untapped natural shale gas at the Karoo basin in South Africa. It was a huge reserve of shale gas that could not only meet the demand of South Africa but also could supply to other countries as well. For successful exploration of such vast underground gas reserves, the company applied for permission to South Africa’s Petroleum Agency (PASA). For extracting the shale gas from the Karoo region, Shell preferred using the advanced 'Fracking' technology. This technology was used normally for extracting gases from underground which needed sufficient amount of water. In this connection, the company faced strong protest and criticism from the local inhabitants and environmentalists. They argued that the 'Fracking' technology could contaminate the underground water as a result of which the whole region might face serious health problems. Therefore, they protested against the decision of Shell for extracting the shale gas from the Karoo basin. On the other hand, Shell tried to calm down the protest with a statement, highlighting its efficiency and superiority regarding handling the environmental challenge. So, it remained to be seen whether Shell could safely extract the shale gas from the Karoo region without affecting the environment and ruffling the sentiments of the local population.