Tag Archives: shale gas

Bundu moves forward with revised Karoo shale-gas EMP

Bundu Gas and Oil Exploration, has assigned environmental consultancy, Golder Associates to consult with communities who will be affected by the shale gas exploration in the Karoo basin, Creamer Media reported.

This follows a requirement of the Petroleum Agency of South Africa (Pasa) to revise its Environmental Management Programme (EMP), keeping it in line with the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 2002.Read more on ESI-Africa

The economics of fracking: Resources, reserves, and recovery efficiency – Part three

EE Publishers, 26 September, 2014.

Part three of this article deals with the use of fracking resources in transport and other applications by countries which are already active in this field.

One lesser known use for natural gas – including liquefied natural gas (LNG) – is for transport. While not ideal for all types of transport, natural gas (either as compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNF) can be used for mass transport (i.e. buses, and trucks, and even ships and trains) [36].  Should oil prices increase in future, the use of natural gas for transportation could increase [35]. Put another way, if shale gas were to be used for transportation instead of power generation – as a strategic commodity to keep essential transport systems running, then supplies in the USA and other countries with far smaller deposits, might indeed  then have reserves that would last for 50 or more years…

(EGI-SA Ed. note: Hopefully the SA GUMP will include ideas such as these.)

Read more…

Wastewater Injection Caused Oklahoma Earthquakes

Scientific American, 3 July, 2014.

A new study attributes the recent surge of quakes in central Oklahoma to the injection of wastewater at a handful of high-rate wells across the state.

More than 230 earthquakes with a magnitude greater than 3.0 have shaken the state of Oklahoma already this year. Before 2008 the state averaged one such quake a year. The surge in seismic activity has left residents and experts alike wondering about the underlying cause.

A study published today in Science explains how wastewater injection sites—areas where toxic water left over from oil drilling and fracking processes is injected into the ground between impermeable layers of rocks to avoid polluting freshwater—could be driving the sharp increase in the sometimes-disastrous earthquake events. “It really is unprecedented to have this many earthquakes over a broad region like this,” says study co-author Geoffrey Abers of Cornell University. “Most big sequences of earthquakes that we see are either a main shock and a lot of aftershocks or it might be right at the middle of a volcano in a volcanic system or geothermal system. So you might see little swarms but nothing really this distributed and this persistent.”

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Scenario paths for energy production in South Africa

ESI Africa, 24 June, 2014.

By Jonathan D. Moyer with co-authors Steve Hedden and Jessica Rettig − Frederick S. Pardee Centre for International Futures at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

Experts now believe that South Africa has the eighth largest shale gas reserves in the world. For a country with an energy profile dominated by coal, recoverable shale gas resources could be a major game-changer in its development. In our African Futures Project brief, “Fracking for Shale Gas in South Africa: Blessing or Curse?” we explore the potential outcomes of unconventional gas development in the country. By using the International Futures (IFs) integrated forecasting system; we were able to evaluate the long-term effects of a few broad policy interventions on South Africa’s environment and economy…

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A Critical Review of the Risks to Water Resources from Unconventional Shale Gas Development and Hydraulic Fracturing in the United States

UCT event

TOPIC:  A Critical Review of the Risks to Water Resources from Unconventional Shale Gas Development and Hydraulic Fracturing in the United States

BY WHOM: Prof Avner Vengosh

WHEN: Wednesday 25 June, 4.30 pm

WHERE: Lecture Hall EM5, 3rd Level, Electrical & Mechanical Engineering Building, University of Cape Town

ABSTRACT: The rapid rise of shale gas development through horizontal drilling and high volume hydraulic fracturing has expanded the extraction of hydrocarbon resources in the U.S. The rise of shale gas development has triggered an intense public debate regarding the potential environmental and human health effects from hydraulic fracturing. This paper provides a critical review of the potential risks that shale gas operations pose to water resources, with an emphasis on case studies mostly from the U.S. Four potential risks for water resources are identified: (1) the contamination of shallow aquifers with fugitive hydrocarbon gases (i.e., stray gas contamination), which can also potentially lead to the salinization of shallow groundwater through leaking natural gas wells and subsurface flow; (2) the contamination of surface water and shallow groundwater from spills, leaks, and/or the disposal of inadequately treated shale gas wastewater; (3) the
accumulation of toxic and radioactive elements in soil or stream sediments near disposal or spill sites; and (4) the overextraction of water resources for high-volume hydraulic fracturing that could induce water shortages or conflicts with other water users, particularly in water-scarce areas. Analysis of published data (through January 2014) reveals evidence for stray gas contamination, surface water impacts in areas of intensive shale gas development, and the accumulation of
radium isotopes in some disposal and spill sites. The direct contamination of shallow groundwater from hydraulic fracturing fluids and deep formation waters by hydraulic fracturing itself, however, remains controversial.

PRESENTED BY: Prof Avner Vengosh
Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, United States

Wednesday 25 June, 4.30 pm
Lecture Hall EM5, 3rd Level, Electrical & Mechanical
Engineering Building, University of Cape Town
Parking at P14 & P17
RSVP and queries: Dr Ricky Murray, Groundwater Africa, ricky@groundwaterafrica.co.za