Drilling for po­ten­tial

CityPress - - Business -

De­spite the low prices for un­con­ven­tional gas, SA should in­vest in ex­ploit­ing its shale gas re­serves, the World En­ergy Coun­cil said this week in a re­port.

Ac­cord­ing to the coun­cil’s re­port, SA has a mooted 390 tril­lion cu­bic feet of shale gas, which, if true, would be more than Rus­sia, and about two-thirds the size of US shale gas re­serves.

Trans­lat­ing this po­ten­tial into real value would re­quire bet­ter lo­cal skills, the de­vel­op­ment of in­fra­struc­ture such as pipe­lines, reg­u­la­tory cer­tainty and, most im­por­tantly, a plan on how to man­age the Karoo’s scarce wa­ter re­sources, the re­port adds. Al­though up-and-com­ing play­ers in the un­con­ven­tional gas mar­ket, such as Ar­gentina and Saudi Ara­bia, are mak­ing sig­nif­i­cant progress, ques­tions re­main about how vi­able the in­dus­try is in the face of low com­mod­ity prices and an over­sup­ply. The ‘golden age of gas’ is no longer in sight, the World En­ergy Coun­cil con­cedes, but with SA need­ing an es­ti­mated 50 gi­gawatts of new elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion, gas has good po­ten­tial in the long term

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