Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Government: Companies must disclose fracking fluids

South Africa proposed regulations for hydraulic fracturing that would require disclosure of chemicals used and meet standards set by the American Petroleum Institute (API), a year after lifting a moratorium on the technique.

"Equipment used in hydraulic fracturing operations must be fit for purpose and must meet relevant API standards," the government said on Wednesday on its national gazette website. "Fluids and their status as hazardous/non-hazardous substances" must be submitted as part of an impact assessment, it said.

Shell and other explorers have applied for permits to explore the semi-desert Karoo region. South Africa, which in 2012 ended a ban on the practice known as fracking, estimates shale gas may generate R1-trillion of sales in 30 years.

"The purpose of the draft regulations is to augment gaps identified in the current regulatory framework," particularly in relation to fracking, Minister of Mineral Resources Susan Shabangu said in the gazette. The draft rules are open for public comment for 30 days.

Farmers and other opponents of fracking, which injects pressurized water, chemicals and sand underground to shatter rock and release natural gas, say the drilling technique risks contaminating ground water. While shale extraction helped the US overtake Russia as the world’s biggest gas producer in 2009, countries including France have banned the practice.

"In order for fracking to go ahead it must be done in line with a proper charter with stringent control measures," James Lorimer, a spokesperson on mineral resources for opposition Democratic Alliance, said on October 10. – Bloomberg

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and receive a 40% discount on our annual rate..

Paul Burkhardt
Paul Burkhardt works from Johannesburg. Bloomberg reporter covering oil/gas, renewables, mining and unions in South Africa and sub-Saharan region. Retweets not endorsements. Paul Burkhardt has over 1431 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Seven years’ radio silence for taxpayer-funded Rhythm FM

Almost R50-million of taxpayers’ money has been invested but the station is yet to broadcast a single show

Q&A Sessions: Zanele Mbuyisa — For the love of people-centred...

She’s worked on one of the biggest class-action cases in South Africa and she’s taken on Uber: Zanele Mbuyisa speaks to Athandiwe Saba about advocating for the underrepresented, getting ‘old’ and transformation in the law fraternity

More top stories

ANC confirms it will oppose Magashule’s court application

The ruling party has briefed senior counsel Wim Trengove to head the team that will contest Magashule’s bid to fight his suspension and oust Ramaphosa instead

Magashule defies suspension order and KZN leaders’ advice that he...

A strategy by the KwaZulu-Natal ANC to control the narrative coming out of former president Zuma’s court appearance for arms deal corruption and fraud was thwarted

Landmark Deadly Air case: 10 000 deaths annually can be...

There is no legal mechanism in place to implement and enforce measures to prevent toxic air pollution in the Highveld

No masks. No Covid. But problems do abound

With no cases of Covid-19, a Zimbabwe informal settlement’s residents are more concerned about making ends meet – and their imminent eviction
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×