The great shale debate in the Karoo

  • Maarten J. de Wit Africa Earth Observatory Network, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University


1. De Villiers S, De Wit MJ. H2O-CO2-Energy equations for South Africa. Cape Town: Africa Earth Observatory Network; 2010. AEON Report Series No 2. Available from:

2. Gardiner SMA. A perfect moral storm – the ethical tragedy of climate change. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011; p. 489.

3. Havemann L, Glazewski J, Brownlie S. A critical review of the application for a Karoo exploration right by Shell Exploration B.V. [document on the Internet]. c2011 [cited 2011 April 05]. Available from:

4. IPCC special report on renewable energy sources and climate change mitigation [homepage on the Internet]. c2011 [cited 2011 May 19]. Available from:

5. Kerr RA. Natural gas from shale bursts onto the scene. Science. 2011;328:1624–1626. doi:10.1126/science.328.5986.1624, PMid: 20576864

6. Walsh B. This rock could power the world- the gas dilemma. Time Magazine. 2011;11:30–37.

7.Shale gas extraction, the need to be seen to be clean. The Economist 2011 May 14;55.

8. Energy Information Administration of the US. Annual energy outlook with projections to 2035 [document on the Internet]. c2011 [cited 2011 April 14]. Available from:

9. Energy Information Administration of the US. Shale gas is a global phenomenon. World shale gas resources: An initial assessment of 14 regions outside the United States [document on the Internet]. c2011 [cited 2011 April 12]. Available from:

10. Inkaba yeAfrica. South Africa-German geosciences programme [homepage on the Internet]. c2011 [cited 2011 May 05]. Available from:

11. Golder Associates. Proposed South Western Karoo Basin Gas Exploration Project by Shell Exploration Company B.V. [homepage on the Internet]. c2011 [cited 2011 April 28]. Available from:

12. US Geological Survey. Modern shale gas - development in the United States: A primer [document on the Internet]. c2009 [cited 2011 April 14]. Available from:

13. Technical fracking [video on the Internet]. c2011 [cited 2011 April 14]. Available from:

14. British Columbia Water Association. Hydrofrack-water use controversy in BC (and elsewhere). BC waterfracking extraction quantity – finally defined [homepage on the Internet]. c2010 [cited 2011 April 05]. Available from:

15. Griffiths M. Protecting water, producing gas [homepage on the Internet]. c2007 [cited 2011 April 16]. Available from:

16. Zeller T. Poking holes in a green image. New York Times Business Day 2011 Apr 12; B1 and B6.

17. Zoback M, Kitasei S, Copithorne B. Addressing the environmental risks from shale gas development. Natural gas and sustainable energy initiative. Washington DC: Worldwatch Institute; 2010. Available from:

18. McGarr A, Simpson D, Seeber L. Case histories of induced and triggered seismicity. In: Lee WHK, Kanamori H, Jennings PC, Kisslinger C, editors. International handbook of earthquake and engineering seismology 81A. New York: Academic Press, 2002; p. 647–661.

19. Durand M. Shale gas 101. Case of the Utica in Quebec [video on the Internet]. c2011 [cited 2011 May 01]. Available from: and

20. Urbina I. Regulations lax as gas well’s tainted water hits rivers. New York Times [newspaper online]. 2011 Feb 26 [cited 2011 March 11]. Available from:

21. Osborn SG, Vengosh A, Warner NR, Jackson RB. Methane contamination of drinking water accompanying gas-well drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. In press. Available from:

22. Howarth RW, Renee Santoro R, Ingraffea A. Methane and the greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas from shale formations. Climate Change. In press. doi:10.1007/s10584-011-0061-5

23. Tilley B, McLellan S, Hiebert S, Quartero B, Veilleux B, Muehlenbachs K. Gas isotope reversals in fractured gas reservoirs of the western Canadian Foothills: Mature shale gases in disguise. Am Ass Pet Geol Bull. In press. doi:10.1306/01031110103

24. Gasland. Can you light your water on fire? [homepage on the Internet]. c2009 [cited 2011 May 01. Available from:

25. Gasland. Rebuttal. Wikipedia Footnotes 27/28 [homepage on the Internet]. c2009 [cited 2011 May 01]. Available from:

26. US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. Chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing [document on the Internet]. c2011 [cited 2011 May 01]. Available from:

27. EPA. Activists prepare bill for TSCA rules on fracking chemicals disclosure [homepage on the Internet]. c2011 [cited 2011 May 02]. Available from:

28. Frac Focus Chemical Disclosure Registry. Cooperative effort by the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy [homepage on the Internet]. c2011 [cited 2011 May 02]. Available from:

29. McCarthy TS. The impact of acid mine drainage in South Africa. S Afr J Sci. 2011;107(5/6), Art. #712, 7 pages. doi:10.4102/sajs.v107i5/6.712

30. Inside Washington Publishers. Environmental protection weekly reports and online news services [homepage on the Internet]. c2011 [cited 2011 May 13]. Available from:

31. Environmental Protection Agency of the USA. EPA stalls gas drilling air rules but consensus emerges on methane limits [homepage on the Internet]. c2011 [cited 2011 Apr 27]. Available from:

32. Ganson B. Shell, Karoo communities and state need fresh approach to resolve conflict. Cape Times Insight 2011 May 24;11.

33. Nordling L. Mining plans pose threat to South African astronomy site - Search for natural gas raises questions over bid to host Square Kilometre Array. NatureNews [serial online]. 2011 Mar 22 [cited 2011 April 27]. doi:10.1038/news.2011.174. Available from:

34. Jansen J. We need to talk. Johannesburg: Bookstorm and Pan Macmillan, 2011; p. 270.

35. Golder Associates. Comment and response report for the Application for Gas Exploration in the South Western Karoo Basin by Shell Exploration Company B.V.: Appendix, technical submissions [homepage on the Internet]. c2011 [cited 2011 April 28]. Available from:

36. Raimondo D, Von Staden L, Foden W, et al., editors. Red list of South African plants. Strelitzia 25. Pretoria: South African National Biodiversity Institute; 2009.

37. Houghton DH. Economic development 1865–1965. In: Wilson M, Thompson L, editors. The Oxford history of South Africa. Vol. II. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971; p. 4.

38. Wilson F. Dinosaurs, diamonds and democracy: A short, short history of South Africa. Cape Town: Umuzi; 2009.

39. Hari J. Green solutions versus black gold. Cape Times 2011 May 27.

40. Wilson EO. The future of life. New York: Vintage Books, Random House Inc.; 2003.

41. Manyi J. Cabinet places moratorium on fracking in Karoo. Politicsweb [newspaper online]. 2011 Apr 21 [cited 2011 May 01]. Available from: