News that Shell Egypt and its joint venture partner Badr Petroleum Company had performed hydraulic fracturing using foam to tap natural gas in the Apollonia Reservoirs of Egypts Western Desert led to a call for a moratorium on the practice in 2012. The Western Desert makes up about two-thirds of Egypts land area and spans from the Mediterranean Sea south to the Sudanese border and from the Nile River Valley west to the Libyan border. While the area is sparsely populated, there are concerns that fracking could pollute groundwater supplies. The moratorium call was made by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, who called for independent impact studies and the development of regulations to cover the practice. Fracking, or plans to use fracking to extract gas, have been controversial globally because chemicals are used in the process, raising fears that it will pollute groundwater supplies. This is particularly relevant for Egypt, says the EIPR, because the country is dependent on limited sources of water. Newspaper reports indicated that no EIA report had been done for the project. In addition, two other companies are apparently also also involved in fracking. Apache (USA) was involed in fracking operations in wells in the East Bahariya field in the Western Desert, which contains aquifer systems of fresh groundwater on which both tourism and all agriculture by the inhabitants of the western oases depend. Agiba Petroleum (joint venture with Italian Eni, Russian Lukoil, and IFC) is also using the technology in its Falak and Dorra fields in the Western Desert.