Sep 17, 2012
Shale gas to ‘dramatically’ change global energy sceneBack
Johannesburg|Africa|CoAL|Consulting|Environment|Exploration|Nuclear|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Resources|Water|Africa|Asia|Europe|North America|China|Japan|Russia|South Africa|United States|Chemical|Chemicals|Complimentary Electricity Source|Discovered Shale Gas Reserves|Electricity Supply|Energy|Energy Assets|Energy Markets|Energy Scene|Energy Source|Insatiable Energy Needs|Manufacturing|Mining|Natural Gas|Nuclear|Oil And Gas|Recoverable Shale Gas Reserves|Renewable Energy|Service|Shale Gas|Shale Gas Development|Shale Gas Extraction|Shale Gas Production|Shale Gas Resources|Shale-gas Licence Applications|Solutions|Dominic Goncalves|Michael Mbogoro|Power|Water|Middle East|Fracturing|Wastewater Treatment
© Reuse this
South Africa, which has the fifth-highest estimated technically recoverable shale gas reserves in the world, recently lifted its 18-month moratorium on shale gas development.
The Department of Mineral Resources stated that it would consider shale-gas licence applications for the Karoo basin, but that actual hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, would be prohibited until mining regulations had been adapted.
While no timeframes were provided for the possible start of fracking activities, Frost & Sullivan estimated that if exploration and pilot studies were to get under way soon, commercial development could start in the next seven to nine years.
“Although this development will fall outside of South Africa’s current critical electricity supply, shale gas as a feedstock post-2020 could become a complimentary electricity source with renewable energy, as the country weans itself from coal,” Goncalves stated.
F&S consulting analyst Michael Mbogoro said that the development of shale resources was set to “dramatically change” the current energy landscape globally. But opponents to shale gas extraction argue that fracking is unsustainable, water thirsty and damaging to the environment.
In a new study by the research firm titled ‘Analysis of the Global Shale Gas Market’, it is stated that newly discovered shale gas reserves around the world were likely to promote consumption of gas as an energy source and an affordable feedstock for a wide variety of chemicals and materials.
The study further suggested that Europe would, in the long term, decrease its dependence on supplies from Russia and the Middle East, thus reducing their dominance in energy markets. This was likely to give rise to new geopolitical alliances at the expense of the old.
North American natural gas prices were found to be the lowest globally and chemical companies were fuelling a revival of the US manufacturing sector by capitalising on this cheap supply.
The report also found that opportunities existed for companies that produced hydraulic fracturing chemicals, as well as for wastewater treatment companies, owing to the high volumes of water consumed in shale gas production.
"The market is dominated by large energy service companies that enjoy close relationships with oil and gas participants. However, chemical companies still have a significant market share. Gelling agents are the major fracturing chemicals by volume, followed by friction reducers and corrosion inhibitors."
As a result of the significant volumes of water needed for shale gas production and increased regulations limiting toxicity levels in wastewater, innovative firms could tap into a market with promising growth prospects over the next 20 years.
Meanwhile, owing to increased shale gas production in North America, demand for gelling chemicals, such as guar gum, has risen, resulting in severe global shortages and high prices.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Energy News
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
JSE-listed real estate investment trust (REIT) Rebosis Property Fund achieved a distribution growth of 8.1% to 99.45c per linked unit in the financial year ended August 31, despite volatile market conditions.
A low-cost, inflatable incubator won this year’s international James Dyson design award, which aims to encourage and inspire the next generation of design engineers.
The World Bank released its ‘Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency’ report last month and ranked South Africa 43 out of 189 global economies for its ease of doing business, with Singapore topping the rankings.
Air Products South Africa officially launched its R300-million Eastern Cape air- separation unit (ASU), at its new manufacturing facility in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), earlier this month. It is the second facility that Air Products launched in South...
BMW South Africa (SA) has signed a power purchasing agreement with energy company Bio2Watt. The offtake partnership will bring renewable energy to the carmaker’s Rosslyn plant, north of Pretoria.