Financial Mail

Katjimuina Tjozongoro Confirming satellite findings on the ground


ancient fault lines blocking oil-bearing strata with nonpermeab­le plugs.

The basic idea behind such minute measuring is that, no matter how tight the trap, there will always be some leakage, possibly only at a molecular level, which seeps to the surface and affects both the flora and the earth — turning normally red clays, for example, into a sort of grey cement, visible from the air, and checkable on the ground.

Only after exhaustive research from the sky and on the ground will the final decision be taken, some time next year, to drill three slim-hole explorator­y wells in the most promising areas, of which two out of three, the ANE team believe, have an 80% chance of success.

When global oil prices sank to around US$10/barrel in the mid-1980s, one of the unexpected outcomes was Moscow’s decision to remove from Angola a 50 000-strong Cuban army it could no longer afford — paving the way for Namibian independen­ce and the end of apartheid. Continuing low oil prices contribute­d to the disintegra­tion of the Soviet Union itself a few years later.

That history is a reminder that oil prices exert powerful forces — especially if you allow your economy to become too dependent on manna from heaven — as the Soviets did for Capturing soil gas samples Part of an innovative method of testing for paraffins

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa