SA lifts moratorium on fracking

2012-09-07 10:07

Cape Town - South Africa has lifted a moratorium on shale gas exploration in the semi-arid Karoo region, where the extraction technique of “fracking” might be used to tap into some of the world’s largest stocks of the energy source

Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said on Friday the cabinet has decided to lift a moratorium imposed in April of last year.

“Cabinet endorsed a recommendation of the report on the lifting of the afore-stated moratorium,” Chabane told reporters.

According to an initial study commissioned by the US energy information administration, South Africa has 485 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas resources, most of which are located in the vast Karoo Basin.

The amount is the fifth largest of 32 countries included in the study and is pitched as a long-term solution for the energy problems of Africa’s largest economy.

The area is home to gas reserves now being investigated by energy company Royal Dutch Shell and petrochemical group Sasol [JSE:SOL].

South Africa last year imposed a fracking moratorium on oil and gas exploration licences in the semi-arid region to gain time to examine the concerns of environmentalists who say the process would ruin the area and to study the potential gains

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  • Niel.Kal - 2012-09-07 10:49


      robbie.crouch - 2012-09-07 11:34

      That is putting it mildly...

  • mark.halbert - 2012-09-07 10:54

    this is very sad news because fracking will turn the Karoo into a desert

      michael.a.collins.9659 - 2012-09-07 11:19

      The Karoo is a desert.....

      jaco.kriek.5 - 2012-09-07 11:26

      karoo is not a desert michael collins, have to agree with mark.... stupidest move ever by the government. short term gain, long term loss.

      robbie.crouch - 2012-09-07 11:33

      @michael.a.collins.9659 - what mark probably meant was it will be turned into sterile desert.

      mulderspf - 2012-09-07 11:41

      And don't forget it will also poison our groudwater supplies and use up valuable fresh water and interfere with a multi-billion Euro science project that was awarded on the basis of there being no fracking in the Karoo

  • thepatrickwinter - 2012-09-07 11:34

    Instead of investing in education and helping create a platform for SMME's to thrive, we must pillage and plunder the land instead. I can't find the words for the next paragraph to describe my emotions on this one. Seems to happen more often these days.

  • norman.depluhm - 2012-09-07 11:35

    For crying out loud, I know we have energy needs, and I know we need economic stimulation, but this is just ANOTHER case of our incompetent incumbents allowing something that we KNOW will cause problems all because there are likely some nice large slices of pie to slip in the back pockets. Imagine our state run enterprises all spent their money with the same skill and dexterity that SARS manages to get a hold of it.... Wow, what South Africa could become, without changing anything else. Then when stuff is running properly, and only then, should we be exploring and debating things like this with at least a reasonable chance for justice and ethics to prevail...

      richard.salt.165 - 2012-09-08 22:03

      The use of coal for producing electricity is very environmentally bad - it produces SO2, NOx, fly ash and CO2. Nuclear produces none of these but is very expensive (3 times coal) and is of course open to serious accident disasters. The energy coming in from solar is of very low grade or intensity and vast fields of collectors are needed, plus complex equipment to convert the tiny voltages up to the 400 000 volts used to transmit energy around the country. And what happens at night or when it rains - you need coal back-up. Natural gas - from fracking or elsewhere - is much cleaner than coal. It could be extracted cleanly if planned and supervised by competent and honest people. One problem is that the existing Eskom boilers are designed for coal and probably wouldn't be able to burn gas effectively. That means new plant is needed.

  • smallies - 2012-09-07 11:40

    totsiens mooi karoo,ek is bly ek kon jou ken voor ons anc korupsie konings jou vermoor...

  • leaproach.thekeeper - 2012-09-07 11:50

    Yup. Saw this coming. And somebody's gonna get fookin rich because of this :-(

  • sharon.hamilton.737001 - 2012-09-07 12:03

    That's the Karoo "Fracked". Poisoned ground water, poisoned soil, highly flammable water wells due to leakage of flammable gasses and liquids into ground water, earth tremors which will definitely affect the science project as those antennas require the utmost stability, that's why they want to build them there in the first place. stupid, stupid GREEDY bastards, is there no end to the rape and pillage of our biological space ship, OUR ONLY HOME.

  • chuck.farley.104418 - 2012-09-07 12:27

    Looks like someone got a kickback.....

  • lee.ferreira - 2012-09-07 13:02

    Guess it is time to change to a different brand then! I hope others will follow suit!

  • ike.jakson - 2012-09-07 13:32

    This is a sensitive environment issue and a difficult decision; all we can hope is that it be handed by real environmental experts. The problem we face is the rapidly growing population and unemployment; these two leave us no choice; and unfortunately as always money will make the decision. It is a good Article and I complement Fin24 for posting it. IkeJ

  • leon.groenewald.scuba.33 - 2012-09-09 11:41

    The ANC has already stuffed up the infrastructure to the point of collapse; why not Bugger up the ground water as well.

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