http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.35Change: -0.06
R/$ = 12.15Change: 0.01
Au 1189.85 $/ozChange: 1.35
Pt 1113.50 $/ozChange: -2.50
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Sep 11, 2012

Shale licensing to proceed, but exploratory fracking prohibited for now

Back
Engineering|Africa|Chesapeake|DST|Eskom|Exploration|Flow|Karoo Action Group|Mineral Resources|Mining|Petroleum|PROJECT|Resources|Shell|Statoil|Systems|Water|Africa|South Africa|Square Kilometre Array|Coordination Systems|Energy|Energy Supply Considerations|Flow|Potential Shale-gas Investors|Shale Gas Mining|Shale-gas Licence Applications|Systems|Unconventional Gas|Environmental|Drilling|Jonathan Deal|Susan Shabangu|Water|Operations|South Africa|Fracturing
Engineering|Africa|Eskom|Exploration|Flow|Mining|Petroleum|PROJECT|Resources|Shell|Systems|Water|Africa|||Energy|Flow|Systems||Environmental|Drilling|Water|Operations||
engineering|africa-company|chesapeake|dst-company|eskom|exploration|flow-company|karoo-action-group|mineral-resources|mining|petroleum|project|resources|shell|statoil|systems-company|water-company|africa|south-africa|square-kilometre-array-facility|coordination-systems|energy|energy-supply-considerations|flow-industry-term|potential-shale-gas-investors|shale-gas-mining|shale-gas-licence-applications|systems|unconventional-gas|environmental|drilling|jonathan-deal|susan-shabangu|water|operations|south-africa-region|fracturing
© Reuse this



South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) says it will move to consider the shale-gas exploration licence applications for the Karoo basin, but indicated on Tuesday that only “normal” exploration “excluding actual hydraulic fracturing”, or fracking, will be allowed until the country’s mining regulations had been “augmented” to take account of the unique issues posed by the process.

Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu clarified normal exploration to include “drilling”, as well as geophysical and geochemical mapping. But exploratory fracking would not be allowed during the 6 to 12 months it would take to formulate “appropriate regulations, controls and coordination systems”.

Both drilling and fracking are integral to the shale-gas exploration process, with the drilling used to confirm the existence of the shale formations and fracking to prove whether the gas will indeed flow from the shale.

No timeframes were offered for the issuance of licences, nor for the start of a broad-based consultation process that had been stipulated by Cabinet when it gave the now contextualised “conditional” approval to fracking at its meeting of September 4.

A monitoring committee would be established to oversee the augmentation of the mining regulations, as well as to supervise possible fracking operations, Shabangu said, quoting from Cabinet-endorsed recommendations arising from a task team probe of the potential and appropriateness of allowing fracking in South Africa. This committee had not yet been appointed.

The task team had comprised representatives from the departments of Mineral Resources, Environmental and Water Affairs, Energy and Science and Technology (DST), as well as from Eskom, the Council for Geoscience, the Water Research Commission and the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). It also included academics from the universities of the Free State and Western Cape.

The report also called for collaboration between the DMR and the DST to ensure “co-existence” between the SKA radio astronomy research and any shale gas mining, as well as for further geohydrology investigation.

Shabangu also insisted that a far-reaching consultation process would be pursued on the basis of Cabinet’s cautious endorsement of fracking and the inclusion of unconventional gas into South Africa’s future energy supply considerations.

A number of questions were posed at the briefing, including by the Treasure the Karoo Action Group’s Jonathan Deal, about the fact that the consultation and regulatory strengthening processes had been sequenced in parallel with the licensing process and possible limited exploration.

But Shabangu insisted that government had no previous mandate, or basis, for consultation, which the task team report now provided. Government would consider amending its processes should well-founded suggestions and objections be raised during consultations with affected parties and stakeholders.

The Minister stressed the licensing would proceed in line with the administrative guidelines of South Africa’s Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, which made it incumbent upon the DMR to consider the merits of five applications received to date. Failure to do so could result in court challenges by the applicants.

Shabangu refused to confirm the names of the applicants, stating that the department would need to reconfirm whether all the applicants remained interested. It is known, though, that Shell South Africa has made application to the department, while names such as Anglo American, Bundu, Falcon Energy, Chesapeake and Statoil have also been linked to the process. Sasol also applied in a joint venture with Statoil and Chesapeake, but withdrew following a desktop evaluation of the project's technical feasibility.

Shell South Africa upstream GM Jan Eggink told Engineering News Online that the prohibition of exploratory fracking during the period when the monitoring committee and new regulations were being established and finalised was not a worry for Shell.

The group still needed to secure an exploration licence and complete an environmental-impact assessment (EIA) for the exploration wells, which could take up to two years to finalise. Shell is yet to go out to tender for an independent consultant to conduct the EIA.

“What the Minister has proposed, therefore, makes sense. She wants to set up a monitoring committee and before that monitoring committee is installed you wouldn’t like hydraulic fracturing to start, because it is there to oversee that process,” Eggink added.

But in the longer run, an exploration permit that disallowed fracking activities would “not be a very valuable licence to hold”.

The full task team report, entitled ‘Investigation of Hydraulic Fracturing in the Karoo Basin of South Africa’, would be made available once it had been edited. But the executive summary, which was released, argued that conditional fracking was considered more appropriate than an outright ban or unconditional sanction.

The report highlighted the risks posed to water resources and astronomy research, but said that the socioeconomic and energy benefits could be material.


 

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Mining News
Iavn Glasenberg
A horde of banks have seemingly rushed in eagerly to grant an eventual $15.25-billion worth of revolving credit facilities to diversified mining and marketing major Glencore, as part of a refinancing exercise. Initially launched at $14-billion, the credit facilities...
Dual-listed Rockwell Diamonds’ fourth-quarter operating performance was negatively impacted by lower grades at its Saxendrift operation, lower volumes at its Niewejaarskraal project and a drop in overall carats sold. “While we achieved revenue growth of 19% to...
Africa-focused project developer Ivanhoe Mines will send a high-level delegation to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) this weekend to address any “misunderstandings” that might exist between itself and the government following Ivanhoe’s announcement on Monday to...
More
 
 
Latest News
All grades of petrol will increase by 47c/ℓ on Wednesday, the Department of Energy announced on Friday. The reef price for unleaded 93 and LRP petrol was currently standing at R12.61/ℓ, while unleaded 95 cost R12.89/ℓ.
JSE-listed Tower Property Fund has acquired the Link Hills Shopping Centre, in Waterfall, KwaZulu-Natal for R160.9-million from The Sabre Trust and Matlu Family Trust. The shopping centre, on Inanda Road, was situated in an upper-high-growth residential area, next to...
South Africa recorded a trade deficit of R2.51-billion ($207-million) in April from a revised shortfall of R9-million in March, data from the revenue agency showed on Friday. Exports fell by 7.5% to R84-billion, while imports were down 4.8% to R86.5-billion on a...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
While strongly welcoming the promulgation of the new Part 101 of South Africa’s civil aviation regulations, governing the commercial operation of civil remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) in South Africa, the Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Association of Southern Africa...
LSM Distributors has contracted engineering consultancy WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff Africa to undertake the R100-million restoration of the 54-year-old Kyalami racetrack, situated in Midrand. The restoration will assist in re-establishing it as a venue for...
South African Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has expressed the hope that the defence budget will be significantly increased over the next five years. She did so while addressing the media in her recent budget vote media briefing. The 2015/2016 defence...
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has been an implementing agency for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) since 2008. The relatively young portfolio has 28 projects over 30 countries on the continent according to the 2014 AfDB and GEF annual report released...
PAUL SPEAR Training and development should be an integral and proportionate part of the long-term strategy of all companies, regardless of their size
Investment in South African youth through apprenticeships and learnerships will not only create direct benefits for businesses but will also contribute significantly to job creation and socioeconomic transformation in the country.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96