Essay about Shell's Alternative Business Models: Fracking

2365 Words Jun 19th, 2012 10 Pages
Carlos Moura EGS Individual Assignment
Shell’s Alternative Business Models: Hydraulic Fracturing

Table of Contents 1. Forward 2

2. Context 3

3. Hydraulic Fracturing 4

4. Actors
4.1. Shell 5 .
4.2. Community 6
4.3. Government 7

5. The opponents perspective 7

6. Conclusion 9 7. References 10

Word count: 1980 (excluding Table of Contents and References)

1. Forward
In June, 2010, an annual favorability poll by Gallup covering the 24 largest industries in the US, rated the oil industry 24th out of 24 for the seventh year in a row (Jones 2010). Despite multinational Oil and Gas companies having the most
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3. Hydraulic Fracturing
Hydraulic Fracturing is a process of drilling between one and five kilometres into the earth’s crust to a layer of shale where natural gas is trapped. The drill head is then turned to drill horizontally along this layer. Using millions of litres of water, sand and an array of chemicals (many of which are toxic to humans and livestock), the rock is repeatedly fractured by high-pressure explosions underground, allowing the gas to be extracted (see Figure1).
Initial studies in the Karoo suggest that shale gas reserves are large enough to be potential game-changers in South Africa’s energy economy. This is what makes the Karoo important to Shell’s natural gas strategy. However, in countries like Canada, Australia and the United States where Fracking has been taking place for some decades, there is growing resistance among communities who have been adversely affected by this practice.

Figure 1: Schematic depiction of hydraulic fracturing for shale gas, showing main possible environmental effects (Source: Wikipedia) 4. Actors
4.1. Shell
“Ethics has nothing to do with rules, but everything to do with attitude” (The Consumers Choice)
Shell, like any commercial agent, is primarily in business to produce profits for shareholders. Traditionally this lends itself to

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