Egyptian, South African anti-fracking protests

This video is about fracking in the USA.

From the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (Cairo, Egypt):

Egypt: Oil Companies in Egypt Use Controversial Technology Banned in a Number of Countries

22 September 2012

EIPR warns: Gas extraction using hydraulic fracturing threatens Egypt’s water resources

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights calls on the Egyptian government to place an immediate moratorium on unconventional extraction activities using hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking“, at least until independent impact studies have been conducted and made public, and regulations have been created. Fracking involves pumping a chemical cocktail of toxic and carcinogenic substances deep underground to facilitate gas extraction. EIPR also calls on companies that frack to make public the chemical components used and processes of treatment and disposal.

EIPR is alarmed by recent news that British-Dutch Shell is introducing “hydraulic fracturing”, an unconventional natural gas extraction method which pumps toxic chemicals into the ground to increase extraction, but is likely to pollute Egypt’s limited groundwater supplies. Adding to EIPR’s alarm is the fact that Shell has a long history of environmental violations and pollution both in general and with fracking specifically.

EIPR condemns the use of this technology in view of the of the lack of any regulations to govern the process.

Reem Labib, Environmental Justice Researcher at EIPR says: “Fracking threatens Egypt’s drinking water, but Shell and Apache‘s drilling is mired in secrecy. Egyptians have a right to know how their resources are managed and how that impacts their environment and life. It is unacceptable that the Government allows the application of such a controversial technology without a thorough independent assessment of its impacts on public health and the environment.”

European countries like France and Bulgaria and US American states like New York and Vermont have placed moratoriums on the practice to prevent pollution of their drinking water sources.

Groundwater contamination is the most immediate threat of fracking, although it also uses significant quantities of water: Fracking a single well uses more water than an Egyptian citizen consumes in around 40 years or more.

The Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) has said that the relevant Environmental Impact Assessment study from Shell / Bapetco for the fracked wells has not reached the agency.

Investigations into the extent of fracking operations in Egypt revealed its use by at least two other companies: Apache (USA) in wells in the East Bahariya field in the Western Desert, which contains essential aquifer systems of fresh groundwater on which both tourism and all agriculture by the inhabitants of the western oases depend.

Furthermore, Dana Petroleum (UK) began fracking the West Al Baraka-2 well near Komombo in June 2011, which raises fears that toxic chemicals could leak into the Nile, threatening the livelihoods of those downriver.

As well as contaminating water, the water-intensive nature of fracking makes it unjustifiable in Egypt. The UN already predicts water scarcity in Egypt by 2025, with estimates of only 500 cubic meters available per person annually.

Reem Labib added: “Local communities and future generations will bear the brunt of pollution. Their health and livelihoods will be impacted by water and air poisoning, all without effective participation in the decision-making process, and without benefiting from the resources.”

More from the EIPR site about fracking, in Arabic: here.

See also here.

South Africa: Fracking will leave ‘giant toilet bowl’.

South African protest against Shell fracking: here.

Shell South Africa has been ordered to withdraw “unsubstantiated” and “misleading” claims it made in full-page advertisements in newspapers about its use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for shale gas exploration in the Karoo: here.

World protests against fracking: here.

USA: Lack of State and Federal Oversight of Offshore Fracking Could Imperil the Santa Barbara Coastline: here.

The Washington Post Greens Fracking: here.

Pinkwashing Fracking? How the Komen Board Is Cashing in on Shale Gas: here.

Fracking in Germany: here.

USA: Science Museums Celebrate the Wonders of…Fracking?! Here.

Britain: Cuadrilla censured by advertising watchdog over fracking safety claims. Advertising Standards Authority orders shale gas company to tone down claims that it uses ‘proven, safe technologies’: here.

A newly published study refutes energy industry claims that hydraulic fracturing for natural gas does not cause ground water contamination with toxic chemicals: here.

14 thoughts on “Egyptian, South African anti-fracking protests

  1. Dear Petrel41, This film was the most level handed one I have seen on the hydraulic fracturing process and its impact. Thank you for posting it. There are way too many hysterical descriptions out there; for example “Gasland.”
    Here is a video giving a description of the fracturing process. It depicts the lengths that the drilling companies are going to in order to keep our waters safe.

    I have worked with Professor Ingraffea (shown in your film) and can say he is an honest man.
    I can also say that I live on the border of NY/PA and have watched the arguments back and forth between the landowners and those who oppose drilling. The landowners are very calm and logical while the opposers tend to get hysterical. That tells me something.
    Also, the countries currently selling oil to the US do not want us to become independent through drilling for gas. However, it looks like they are going to go ahead with fracking in their countries. That also tells me something.
    Thank you for this post. It was very interesting.


    • Hi Waldo, the Hydraulic Fracturing video which you posted is public relations by corporations profiting from it (though the video does not name its makers and financers).

      I have heard Shell tell that they don’t cause environmental problems in Nigeria … BP used to say that their drilling in the Caribbean was perfectly safe … I heard too many things of that type by now.


      • Yes, I realize it was put together by the industry. And I also realize that the video you posted was by the anti-fracking people. In my mind there are only two things wrong with fracking; poor workmanship and companies that take short-cuts, neither of which is excusable. But fracking (or drilling, or trucking, or heavy industry, or pharmaceuticals) is safe when done with a conscience.


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  4. Leak probe at fracking site

    The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has launched a probe into a possible methane leak from a controversial fracking site on the Canonbie coalfield in Dumfries and Galloway.

    The investigation follows claims reported to the Sunday Herald newspaper that methane was “bubbling up” in wells drilled to test for the gas in the coal seams.

    Scottish Labour environment spokeswoman Claire Baker MSP said: “The allegation underlines legitimate concerns surrounding unconventional gas.”


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