http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.36Change: -0.15
R/$ = 11.17Change: -0.11
Au 1215.05 $/ozChange: -2.21
Pt 1329.00 $/ozChange: -3.00
 
 
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 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|Gas|Karoo Action Group|Mineral Resources|PROJECT|Resources|Shell|Statoil|Systems|Water|Africa|South Africa|Square Kilometre Array|Coordination Systems|Energy|Energy Supply Considerations|Flow|Mining|Potential Shale-gas Investors|Shale Gas Mining|Shale-gas Licence Applications|Systems|Unconventional Gas|Environmental|Drilling|Jonathan Deal|Susan Shabangu|Water|South Africa|Fracturing
Engineering|Africa|Eskom|Exploration|Flow|PROJECT|Resources|Shell|Systems|Water|Africa|||Energy|Flow|Mining|Systems||Environmental|Drilling|Water||
engineering|africa-company|chesapeake|dst-company|eskom|exploration|flow-company|gas-company|karoo-action-group|mineral-resources|project|resources|shell|statoil|systems-company|water-company|africa|south-africa|square-kilometre-array-facility|coordination-systems|energy|energy-supply-considerations|flow-industry-term|mining|potential-shale-gas-investors|shale-gas-mining|shale-gas-licence-applications|systems|unconventional-gas|environmental|drilling|jonathan-deal|susan-shabangu|water|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 Energy News
Zukie Siyotula, Wandile Mseleku and Govert Rietema.
African investment management firm Thebe Investment Corporation has acquired a 15% stake in Burgan Cape Terminals, which was, last year, awarded a 20-year contract by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) to develop and manage fuel storage and distribution...
For two years, Italy-based industrial research and development company Sunchem have been working on producing jet fuel using a tobacco crop project in Marble Hall, Limpopo, which has proved to be successful in the small-scale trials, says Sunchem SA MD Joost van...
Cape Town-based industrial boilers designer and manufacturer John Thompson developed the MicroGen watertube boiler – launched this year – to cater for increasing demand for small, medium-pressure power boilers that are particularly suited to applications in fibrous...
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 6 hours ago  South Africa signed a nuclear power cooperation deal with Russia on Monday that paves the way for the building of up to 9.6 GW of nuclear power based on Russian technology by 2030, both sides said. The surprise announcement from the sidelines of a International...
Mozambican, Swazi and South African dignitaries at the official inauguration of the Maputo Corridor JOC
Updated 6 hours ago The Mozambican port and rail authorities plan to invest around $3-billion in the coming few years to raise yearly throughput at the Maputo port to between 40-million and 50-million tons by 2020 and to migrate additional cargo from road to rail. Speaking at the...
A series of unfortunate events led to Johannesburg and surrounding areas experiencing significant water shortages over the past week, City of Johannesburg mayoral committee member for development planning and urban management Roslynn Greeff said at a media briefing...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
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.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
MANUFACTURING CAPABILITY Reliable Transformers designs and manufactures dry-type and oil-filled power and distribution transformers up to 3.5 MVA
While Ekurhuleni-based transformer manufacturer Reliable Transformers currently designs, manufactures and tests its products according to the SANS 780 specifications for distribution transformers and other applicable transformer specifications, it is working towards...
GHAREEB SAAD Kaspersky Lab products contain strong heuristics engines that monitor suspicious file execution to detect attacks
Global endpoint security solutions company Kaspersky Lab has introduced new measures to prevent cyber criminals from accessing sensitive data, alongside its malware-signature and heuristic device analysis detection methods. Threats to mobile devices have increased...
MICHAEL FLETCHER Real-time information available to government when citizens use publicly funded Wi-Fi networks will enable it to communicate with citizens and provide services
To ensure uptake and a positive impact, Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) networks in cities must be provided at schools, community centres and commercial centres to enable citizens and government to access information that will improve access to and delivery of services....
Eco-estate Monaghan Farm, located near Lanseria airport, north-west of Johannesburg, has taken a new approach to modern living and sustainability with its 517 ha development, dedicated to farm living.
Forklift and lift-truck distributor Goscor Lift Hi-Reach launched the Genie SX-180, the tallest self-propelled super boom in Africa, in Johannesburg last month. “As the official distributor of the well-known Genie range of equipment in Southern Africa, we are pleased...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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