Fracking - Coming to a Karoo Near You

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Re: Say NO to Fracking in the KAROO

Post by Flutterby » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:54 am

Non-toxic fracking fluid developed

Pittsburgh - The oil and gas industry is trying to ease environmental concerns by developing nontoxic fluids for the drilling process known as fracking, but it's not clear whether the new product will be widely embraced by drilling companies.

Houston-based energy giant Halliburton has developed a product called CleanStim, which uses only food-industry ingredients. Other companies have developed nontoxic fluids as well.

"Halliburton is in the business to provide solutions to our customers," said production manager Nicholas Gardiner. "Those solutions have to include ways to reduce the safety or environmental concerns that the public might have."

Environmental groups say they welcome the development but still have questions.

The chemicals in fracking fluids aren't the only environmental concern, said George Jugovic, president of PennFuture. He said there is also concern about the large volumes of naturally occurring but exceptionally salty wastewater and air pollution.


It's premature to say whether it will ever be feasible to have fluids for fracking that are totally nontoxic, said Scott Anderson, a senior adviser for the Environmental Defence Fund.

"But we are encouraged to some extent by recent industry efforts to at least reduce the toxicity," Anderson said.

Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, has made it possible to tap into energy reserves across the US but also has raised concerns about pollution, since large volumes of water, along with sand and hazardous chemicals, are injected deep into the ground to free the oil and gas from rock.

Regulators contend that overall, water and air pollution problems are rare, but environmental groups and some scientists say there hasn't been enough research on those issues. The industry and many federal and state officials say the practice is safe when done properly, but faulty wells and accidents have caused problems.

Halliburton says CleanStim will provide "an extra margin of safety to people, animals and the environment in the unlikely occurrence of an incident" at a drilling site.

Gardiner said Halliburton has developed a chemistry-scoring system for the fluids, with lower scores being better. CleanStim has a zero score, he said, and is "relatively more expensive" than many traditional fracking fluids.

Both Jugovic and Anderson noted that one of the most highly publicised concerns about toxic fracking fluids hasn't really been an issue: The suggestion that they might migrate from thousands of metres underground, up to drinking water aquifers.

Cost issues

"Most people agree there are no confirmed cases so far" of fracking chemicals migrating up to drinking water, Anderson said. But he added that simple spills of fluid on the surface can cause problems.

"The most likely of exposure is not from the fracking itself. It is from spills before the fracking fluid is injected," Anderson said.

There also may be technical and cost issues that limit the acceptance of products such as CleanStim. There is tremendous variation in the type of shale rock in different parts of the country. For example, drillers use different fluids even within the same state, and the specific mix can play a large role in determining how productive a well is.

Gardiner wouldn't say how widely used CleanStim is. "The customers who do use it certainly like the material," he added.

Terry Engelder, a geologist at Penn State University, said he visited a well in that state last year that used just water, sand and three additives in the fracking fluid.

But Engelder added that "green" and "toxic" can be "soft words without real meaning". He noted that consumers, businesses and farms use vast quantities of chemicals that can contribute to pollution, from cleaners and soaps to fertilizers and pesticides. Yet all those compounds are routinely flushed down the drain, ending up in nearby rivers and streams.

"Eventually industry would like to end up with a mix of just water, sand, and food-grade additives," Engelder said of fracking. "Companies are learning to deal with fewer and fewer additives."

- AP

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Re: Say NO to Fracking in the KAROO

Post by H. erectus » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:31 pm

It is alarming to see, a clip on fracking in the states, what horrendous implications come about
in this process!!! People in the area of such action have problems!!!!

It was mentioned that fracking done properly can be contained and mastered with little side effect!

I raise one question, but only one, can we do properly here in the RSA?????

Just maybe we can teach the USofA how to do fracking!!
Heh,.. H.e

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Re: Say NO to Fracking in the KAROO

Post by Toko » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:38 pm

Fracking proponents, opponents agree on need for exploration to determine size of Karoo shale resource

By: Samantha Moolman
26th April 2013

Gas industry stakeholders supporting and opposing the exploiting of shale gas reserves in the Karoo basin reached a consensus at Gas Week 2013 – exploration needs to go ahead to conclusively determine whether the 485 tcf of technically recoverable shale gas in the region is, indeed, commercially viable.

Much of the week-long event, hosted by the Institute for International Research, earlier this month, focused on the possible exploitation of indigenous shale gas reserves, weighing up the risks and concerns of moving ahead with hydraulic fracturing (fracking) against the benefits that the development of a natural gas sector may bring.

Law firm Webber Wentzel Africa mining and energy projects partner Jonathan Veeran maintains that, while developing an industry around shale gas exploitation in the Karoo is manageable, it is also not without significant economic and environ- mental risks.

“It takes time to explore shale gas resources and it may take years before exploration turns into production,” he says, explaining that natural gas prices may fall or rise considerably during the exploration period, which involves financial risk.

Further highlighting the significant capital development and infrastructure costs involved in shale gas development, Veeran adds that South Africa does not have a sufficiently developed gas market to support these costs.

“There is also a need for govern- ment buy-in and, though government has shown willingness, there seems to be some disconnect between the National Development Plan and the Department of Mineral Resources’ (DMR’s) mineral policy on how to progress the issue and create investment opportunities to make South Africa’s shale gas sector an attractive investment destination.”

This disconnect is compounded by South Africa’s unstable labour environment, says Veeran.

Further difficulty in developing the shale gas sector comprises the environmental concerns pertaining to fracking and the environmental regime that needs to be adhered to.

“From our perspective, the difficulty is that there is no stream- lined application process. Companies need to approach different government departments to apply for different licences, which delays the process,” says Veeran.

He also highlights other major environmental concerns, including waste management processes, the deterioration of air quality, groundwater contamination and the migration of gas to the land’s surface, as possible complications that could arise as a result of the fracking process.

This, says Veeran, aggravates existing negative public opinion.

“Companies, like oil and gas major Shell, have gone on the public offensive to ease some of these concerns, but I think there’s still a fair bit of negotiation that needs to go on there,” he states.

As a frontrunner in developing the natural gas sector in South Africa, Shell is reiterating its belief that, while there are significant challenges inherent in shale gas exploration and development, these can be mitigated through best industry standards and transparent regulations.

While maintaining a strong stance in favour of fracking and the economic benefits that it would bring to South Africa, should it prove to be economically viable, Shell SA chairperson and VP Bonang Mohale assured Gas Week delegates that Shell was com- mitted to protecting the Karoo, even if it became a national energy resource.

“We are not going to compete for water with the people of the Karoo and will provide full compensation to those who will be out of pocket as a result of our activities.”

Mohale acknowledged that water access would be a key challenge, should Shell move ahead with fracking in the Karoo. He added, however, that the company would seek alternative water sources, such as brackish water, which might be sufficiently available at depth.

In addition, Shell has promised full disclosure of the chemicals that will be used in the fracking process, if it proceeds with the development phase, which will probably get under way only in the next decade.

With the moratorium on exploratory fracking now lifted, Shell is waiting for an exploration licence from the DMR on the basis of the environmental management plan it submitted to the Petroleum Agency of South Africa (Pasa).

Drilling, however, can only start once Shell has submitted its environmental, social and health impact assessment (Eshia), which will take an estimated two years to prepare.

Eshia will assess the poten- tial impact that exploration activities could have on the environment and will highlight possible operational alternatives. The assessment will include specialist studies, water tests, seismic testing and air-quality tests, among other processes. Extensive consultation sessions will also be held with the people of the Karoo.

Shell will submit the finalised Eshia to the Department of Environmental Affairs for approval and, if granted approval, will proceed with exploration drilling, which could take up to nine years to finalise.

Shell plans to drill at least six wells within the first three-year licence period, which is the minimum number of wells required for drilling. These wells will test whether the shale can produce sufficient quantities of gas to make the development worthwhile.

Should the first exploration wells show encouraging results, Shell will renew its exploration licence to drill more exploration wells, which could add up to 24 wells within the licence period.

Once the exploration period draws to a close, the oil major hopes to proceed with gas production, which would involve the construction of between 60 and 70 drilling-rig sites, or well pads, each about the size of a football field, which will be spaced 4 km to 5 km apart. Each well pad can accommodate up to 32 wells.

“This development process is expected to impact on not more than 1% of Shell’s 90 000 km2 licence area, which is nothing in terms of surface impact. “The overall footprint of shale gas development in the Karoo will, therefore, be very limited,” says Mohale.

He adds that, in terms of explor- ation legislation, South Africa has the correct checks and balances in place to proceed with confidence.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu

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Re: Say NO to Fracking in the KAROO

Post by H. erectus » Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:34 pm

My word,.. when Shell oil, have so much to account for in
Africa, regarding spillage and responsibility!!!

Naaaah, not accepted from that mouth!!!
Heh,.. H.e

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Re: Say NO to Fracking in the KAROO

Post by H. erectus » Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:39 pm

Toko wrote:says Mohale.
Go try your luck "Nog 'n maal ne""

You talk from the top with little regard what happens
at the bottom. Nog a Typical Sa "entrepeneur"
Heh,.. H.e

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Re: Say NO to Fracking in the KAROO

Post by dup » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:00 pm

The remark was made today on Afrikaans radio by a guest that the ,"the bribe money is decided , fracking is going ahead." This discussion happens due to news reports today that fracking is going ahead. O/
It is time to stop buying Shell products ^0^
Stop buying frackers products,now !!!
Biyamiti camp-Nov 2017- with family and friends

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Re: Say NO to Fracking in the KAROO

Post by H. erectus » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:37 pm

I was told that fracking was to go ahead and that,
without any uncertainty. This I heard over the
breakfast table however cannot quote the source!!

Fracking is not easily accepted anywhere in the world
but here it just seems to be no problem.
I wonder why we can allow for such a situation to
be without much concern from those ruling the state.

This topic gets very little attention or is it just not
news worthy????

Will it just happen or has it happened already???!!!
Heh,.. H.e

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Re: Say NO to Fracking in the KAROO

Post by iNdlovu » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:39 pm

I stopped a long time ago. Shell, as a company has the least morals of any of them in my book.

H, the big problem here is that Mr Joe Public is just too apathetic to make a stand on issues. You usually hear things like "wow, that's not good, but they'll just go ahead and do it anyway, no matter what I say"
Man was placed in charge and given the duty of caring for all creation, are we doing it?

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Re: Say NO to Fracking in the KAROO

Post by H. erectus » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:55 pm

Indeed Indy, taking into account elections and
all the nonsense in the run-up there too!!!

This country is filled with extremely hungry people
out there, that take -up conservation with little regard.

First priority with most would be food and perhaps just
too be noticed!!! Many people on this planet are extremely
hungry Indy and have a very different basic set of standards
for existing. This country always has been in the political
spotlight and still is!!

We can afford to give it all away for mahala, 'cause it suites"

But now we are becoming political,....

With our plight in mind, where do we draw the line?
Heh,.. H.e

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TKAG: SA government gullible on fracking

Post by Sprocky » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:42 am

2013-10-10 14:35

Cape Town - The government needs to involve all parties affected by fracking in a comprehensive and far-reaching study, the Treasure the Karoo Action Group (TKAG) said on Thursday.

"It is beyond embarrassing that the government of the economic powerhouse of Africa can be so gullible," TKAG CEO Jonathan Deal said in reference to an Econometrix fracking study by Shell in 2012.

"It is not enough to swallow the promises of companies who gamble with the future of this country while promoting their own profit objectives."

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of fracturing rock by pumping pressurised liquid deep into the ground to extract natural gas trapped in shale layers.

The Econometrix study constructed a macro-economic model to analyse the economic opportunities should a large amount of gas be found in the Karoo.


The TKAG and AfriForum released a peer-reviewed critique of the study on Thursday, which questioned the efficacy of the economic model used.

"No one macro-economic model, and certainly not simple theoretical models, can be used to base policy decisions on," they said.

"Intellectual monopolies in the modelling domain do not lead to better decisions, especially when potentially game-changing shocks to broader socio-economic and ecological systems are anticipated."

Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu on Thursday announced the gazetting of technical regulations on shale gas exploration and exploitation, which would allow 30 days for public comment.

She said the proposed regulations prescribed international industry practices and standards, which would ensure exploration was conducted in a "socially and environmentally balanced manner".

A year ago, Cabinet agreed to lift a moratorium on applications to explore for shale gas in the Karoo using fracking.

The decision was based on recommendations contained in a report on shale gas exploration prepared by a technical task team, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said last September.

Shabangu said one of the report's main recommendations was to ensure that the regulatory framework was robust enough to mitigate any negative impact should fracking be approved.

"We have a responsibility as government to ensure security of energy supply for the country, and to explore energy sources that will improve the country's energy mix, grow the economy and contribute to job creation."

Look after what we have, for tomorrow, if they get their way, it WILL be gone!
We can choose to destroy or to cherish, the choice is OURS!

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