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SA extends shale ban

Oilfield Technology,

South Africa’s cabinet has voted to extend the moratorium on shale gas ’fracking’ for another six months until further studies can be conducted.

The South African government originally imposed the six month ban on the  practice back in February 2011 and has now decided to extend the ban. The environmental studies, which were conducted in April, have been sent back for further details and there will be public consultation.

The World Wide Fund has supported the decision.

“WWF views the extension as a wise step given that there is currently insufficient, independently-reviewed scientific data around the environmental consequences of shale-gas exploration and extraction to support a decision to proceed with exploration in South Africa,” said the group in a statement.

Hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ is highly controversial and there have been concerns that the process could lead to groundwater pollution and environmental damage, but so far nothing has been proved conclusively.

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