Gas deposits less than earlier estimate at Karoo in South Africa

KarooKaroo’s gas deposits have been estimated less than earlier. (Image source: Flowcomm/Flickr)South Africa’s Karoo basin is expected to have a 30th of the shale gas deposits, thus deflating expectations of an energy bonanza, a study by the South African Journal of Science have stated

According to Reuter, the gas development plans have drawn opposition from campaigners who say they threaten the environment of the semi-arid Karoo, which is famed for its rugged scenery and rare wildlife.

The source further reported that the geologists at the University of Johannesburg and other institutions have estimated the gas resource was probably 13 tcf. The study further said that the bottom of a range of estimates had put deposits between 13 tcf to 390 tcf.

According to the US Energy and Information Administration (EIA), in 2015, Karoo Basin estimated its technically recoverable shale gas resource at 390 tcf, thereby making it the 8th largest in the world and second largest in Africa, after Algeria, said the source.

Such low estimates still represent a potential large resource for the South African petroleum industry, the study described.

“To be economically viable, the resource would be required to be confined to a small, well-delineated ‘sweet spot’ area in the vast southern area of the basin,” they spoke to the source.

However, the environmentalists and farmers have opposed opening up the Karoo for shale gas development, expressing their concern that it might affect the environmental sustainability in the region.

They said that the opening of Karoo require fracking, which is a technique for pumping water and chemicals at high pressure to release the gas. This will be a significant risk for the wildlife and population of Karoo, they said.

Royal Dutch Shell, Falcon Oil and Gas and Bundu Gas & Oil are some of the firms whose applications are being reviewed by the regulator, said the source.

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