Anti-fracking campaigners have vowed to file an urgent application in court to stop any fracking in the Karoo region. The government announced that exploration for shale gas will begin in the next 12 months, ending years of speculation over the project and following years of postponements.
The government believes the exploration of shale gas is an area of real opportunity for South Africa, and that shale gas has the potential to provide South Africa with greater energy security, growth and job creation. According to the government, the exploration will lead to excellent prospects for beneficiation and will add value to the country’s mineral wealth.
South Africa’s semi-desert Karoo region in the Eastern Cape is believed to hold at least 485 trillion cubic feet of shale gas, but drilling has been delayed by environmental and economic concerns.
It is worth commenting that the Petroleum Agency of South Africa believes that 485 mill cu ft of gas quoted in this article is significantly overstated and that the amount of gas is likely to be more like 20 to 40 mill cu ft. This does not mean that it is not worth investigating – 1 mill cu ft has kept PetroSA operating for than 20 years.
Source: SABC News