by Staff Writers
Johannesburg (AFP) Dec 1, 2011
South African petrochemical giant Sasol is shelving exploration plans for shale gas in the Karoo, at least for now, the company said Thursday.
The government has in any case imposed a moratorium on exploration in the semi-desert Karoo until February 2012, amid fierce opposition from environmental groups over the use of hydraulic fracturing drilling to release underground resources.
"We recently concluded an extensive technical study for shale gas in the Karoo Basin in South Africa," Sasol's chief financial officer Christine Ramon said in a statement.
"The technical cooperation permit which allowed us to do this expired on November 17, 2011 and we have decided not to pursue further exploration activities in the area at this stage," she said.
"Sasol will, however, continue to monitor the South African shale gas landscape for new developments."
Shale gas extraction -- developed in the United States and Canada -- uses a combination of water, sand and chemicals to blast into hard rock to release gas locked inside.
South Africa is also interested in the technology, known as fracking, which could help the coal-dependent nation reduce its carbon emissions while developing new domestic energy sources.
But environmental groups and residents in the Karoo fear the process could pollute scarce water supplies and upset the region's delicate ecological balance.
Anglo Dutch energy giant Shell has expressed interest in a $200-million exploration programme, and indicated that developing the reserves could generate billions of dollars of investment in a country desperate for jobs.
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
US lawmakers seek to force Obama move on pipeline
Washington (AFP) Nov 30, 2011
Key US senators unveiled largely symbolic legislation on Wednesday aiming to require President Barack Obama to allow the controversial US-Canada "Keystone XL" pipeline project to move ahead. "It would create jobs almost immediately - a lot of jobs," said Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the bill's top backers, who accused Obama of trying to "curry favor" with enviro ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|