Tag Archive | Karoo

Karoo Fracking

Fracking, shale gas gets nearer

Mineral resources gives update on fracking, shale gas

In what appeared to be justification for cabinet’s support of the furtherance of shale gas exploration, director general of the department of mineral resources (DMR), Thibedi Ramontja, told Parliament recently that the discovery of gas deposits in the Karoo “was an exciting opportunity to create jobs and that this was going to make a difference to people’s lives in terms of the NDP”.

He was briefing the select committee on land and mineral resources on the department’s budget vote, his audience representing a different cluster and a more inclusive one than when DMR briefed the National Assembly’s portfolio committee the week before.

Whilst a gazette had been published in February 2014 imposing certain restrictions on the granting of new applications for shale gas “reconnaissance”, DMR said that current approvals did not yet authorise hydraulic fracturing itself.     If this was allowed, “certain amendments” would be made to the appropriate Act.

EIA to come

An environmental impact assessment would be completed in conjunction with the department of water affairs “within the second quarter of 2014/5” to determine “responsible practices” for hydraulic fracturing and to “provide a platform of engagement with stakeholders”.   DMR said that this process would be “streamlined”.

It was noted by DMR in their presentation to parliamentarians that both shale gas exploration and production, together with coal bed methane, will be authorised under environmental impact regulations.

Warning on BEE

The briefing on the DMR strategic plan for five years and this year’s budget vote for the department was preceded by a statement by the deputy minister of mineral resources. Again the warning was conveyed to the mining and petroleum industry that it was generally in default of the mining charter.

With the tenth anniversary of the charter now present, DG Ramontja said, findings by DMR indicated that whilst some targets had been partially achieved in terms of BEE and the charter, others were very much lagging. “Action will be taken”, she said.

Other articles in this category or as background
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//energy/shale-gas-exploration-gets-underway/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//energy/move-by-minister-to-qualify-shale-gas-exploration
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//energy/fracking-regulations-enhance-safety/

Posted in BEE, Electricity, Energy, Enviro,Water, Facebook and Twitter, Fuel,oil,renewables, LinkedIn, Public utilities, Trade & Industry0 Comments

Fracking regulations to enhance safety

Fracking regulations published for comment….

Fracking_GraphicProposed technical fracking regulations on “Petroleum Exploration and Exploitation” have been published by mineral resources minister, Susan Shabangu, stating that the regulations are sought to ensure safe exploration and production methods.

She said on publication, “The purpose of the draft regulations is to augment gaps identified in the current regulatory framework governing exploration and exploitation of petroleum resources, particularly in relation to hydraulic fracturing and prescribe good international petroleum industry practices and standards that will enhance safe exploration and production of petroleum”.

Protection of water resources

Such technicalities are provisions for the following:   Firstly, an assessment of the potential impact of the proposed activities on the environment must be provided; secondly, there must be provision for the protection of fresh water resources; thirdly the protection of biodiversity, palaeontology and the broader environmental impact must be in line with government objectives and, finally there have to be mechanisms for site-specific buffer zone determination for the co-existence of shale gas exploitation and the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) project.

International best practices sought

susan shabangu The mineral resources department stressed, in an earlier statement, that the regulations would ensure that all exploration activities would be “conducted in a socially and environmentally balanced manner”. The gazette in question calls for sound international petroleum industry best practices and standards.

The technical requirements include site assessment, selection and preparation, well design and construction, operations and management; and well suspension and abandonment.

Mid November is given as the date for comments to the department of mineral resources to be concluded.

Refer to articles in this category
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//energy/fueloilrenewables/pasa-ready-fracking-sea-gas/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//energy/fueloilrenewables/fracking-moves-november-says-minister-davies/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//energy/chemical-industries-plan-for-training-skills-in-fracking/

Posted in Energy, Enviro,Water, Fuel,oil,renewables, Trade & Industry0 Comments

Fracking moves in November, says Minister Davies

Fracking equals jobs…….

frackingFracking for shale gas is under serious consideration by the minister involved and the department of energy, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe told Parliament recently, giving his reasons to parliamentarians for this statement as resulting from a cabinet discussion on economic imperatives, the need to create jobs and advance growth.

Minister of trade and industry, Rob Davies, also weighed in on the subject with a comment a few days later.  He also said that the cabinet had discussed the issue recently and they had concluded that the country could not rely just on a tentative upturn in the United States and Europe to help local growth and job creation but must commence its own initiatives.

Lobby for and against

Minister Davies acknowledged that there was indeed a strong environmental lobby against hydraulic fracturing but said government now needed to consider proposals for and against starting exploration in the light of the “cabinet lekgotla that had discussed global economic developments and which had decided to advance the work on taking a decision on the matter.”

Davies said Cabinet believed shale gas could be a vital component in South Africa’s quest for energy security, but at this stage the potential extent of local reserves remained unknown. “It is our intention to move before the end of this administration”, meaning before mid-November when Parliament closes.

Gas nearby

He said that also Mossgas has a resource of about one trillion cubic metres of gas, Mozambique having about an estimated hundred trillion cubic metres with some estimates that the shale gas deposits in South Africa are far bigger.

“If this was the case, this whole question could be a very, very significant game changer in terms of the energy situation in South Africa”, he said.

Handle with care

On the subject of opposition from the Karoo anti-fracking lobbies, he said that government would not proceed in an irresponsible way.  “We obviously have to bear in mind all the environmental implications including, of course, the nature of the relationships with any company that gets any kind of permit – what is going to be the delivery in terms of a positive impact on the economy.”

He mentioned that in an overall picture, the main constraint to growth that requires immediate attention was the energy situation. He said that discussions now were at senior government level.

previous articles on this subject
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//energy/chemical-industries-plan-for-training-skills-in-fracking/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//cabinetpresidential/to-ignore-fracking-would-be-an-opportunity-lost/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//energy/move-by-minister-to-qualify-shale-gas-exploration/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//cabinetpresidential/water-affairs-looking-at-nine-months-to-answer-on-fracking/

Posted in Enviro,Water, Facebook and Twitter, Fuel,oil,renewables, Labour, LinkedIn0 Comments

Chemical industries plan for training skills in fracking

SETAs report to Parliament with training skills update.

On the subject of fracking and in a presentation to the parliamentary portfolio committee on energy by the Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (CHIETA), parliamentarians were told that major objectives included providing the necessary skills for jobs during the possible exploration for shale gas in the Karoo.

They were also to be part of the exploration process for gas where alternative energy employer were providing jobs and there was a promising outlook for new jobs with specialised skills which CHIETA could provide.

CHIETA is the statutory body established by the National Skills Development Act, through the Department of Labour, one of  twenty three SETAs currently carrying out sector education and training authorities in SA, each being responsible for promoting economic and social development through learnerships and skills programmes.

Gas exploration also under consideration

CHIETA told parliamentarians that the subject of gas exploration and possible new skills needed to develop off-shore gas resources along the West Coast SA and also mentioned also the need for training and skills in upgrading of refineries “to meet new clean fuel standards”. The skills needed “ in consideration of building a new refinery to reduce dependence on the import of refined products” were discussed.

Skills development levies from the petroleum industry at a figure of 95,000 persons far exceeded any other of the category of employer in CHIETA, which ranges from fertilizer to pharmaceutical groupings, of which there were 116,826 employees.

Simple trade related skills represented 50% of the shortfall in the petroleum industry, other than senior professionals who represented another 40%. The presenter talked of an integrate training process that was conducted between SAPIA, the department of energy, CHIETA itself and Johannesburg (Wits) University.

Other training groups report

Two other SETA’s briefed parliamentarians in the form of the Wholesale and Retail SETA who has some time ago signed an MOU with major training group MERSETA and arranged transfer from the latter of 3,256 levy paying companies whom they assumed responsibility for, developing a manual to accommodate fuel retailers downstream.

The levies transferred amounted to R26.9m, transferring also the NQF level 2 National Certificate Service Station Operations qualification and numbers trained with joint exercises with the fuel sector and with grants, amounted to  clerical and administrative workers-227; community and personal service workers-130; elementary workers- 866; machinery operators and drivers – 202; managers- 610; professionals– 62; sales workers– 9,559; technicians and traders workers- 259, making a grand total of 11, 915 persons trained.

The Local Government Sector Education Training Authority (LGSETA) said that their programmes were mainly focused on water and waste water treatment  with a total 1795 candidates  trained in 8 provinces. An electrical training school has been established.

In the same series of presentations, the committee heard from the grouping “Woman in Oil and Energy” presented by Mthombeni Moller .

SAPIA reports for the liquid fuels sector

A briefing by SAPIA on transformation in the liquid fuels industry noted that it was the view generally of the fuel sector that the recently introduced and revised BEE scorecard “made sense” but in welcoming the new BEE amendment bill added to anchor B-BBEE legislation, they gave a warning to legislators and department of trade and industry that whilst penalties might stop “fronting”, the whole process of criminalising such aspects of business development might have “unintended consequences”.

The industry representatives said that the concept of a BEE commission was welcomed for a number of reasons and they told parliamentarians that SAPIA’s plans for the future included an advanced certification in management for oil and gas aimed at middle management persons in transition to senior posts and for trainers to impart to these people specialist knowledge in the oil and gas Industry.

SAPIA called upon the department of energy to take the lead in developing a number of issues in sector transformation including a proper BEE framework for all to work to; revised B-BBEE codes for the sector and technical assistance guidelines to work with that were more specific on certain issues.

Posted in Energy, Fuel,oil,renewables, Land,Agriculture, Mining, beneficiation, Trade & Industry, Transport0 Comments

Hanekom to protect SKA win from fracking fallout

Protecting the Square Kilometre Array

In answer to a parliamentary question on the subject, the new minister of science and technology Derek Hanekom has confirmed that a report is to be undertaken by the department of science and technology and the SKA project team on any possible negative effects of shale gas fracking in the Karoo.

Mineral resources minister, Susan Shabangu, earlier told the media in a press media meeting that government “will approach fracking in the Karoo in a sensitive and responsible manner”.    At this meeting she made public to all the report on investigation of hydraulic fracturing or fracking in the Karoo.

Minister Hanekom’s recent response to MPs questions stated that findings of the research will focus on any negative impacts during the exploration phase and will also be used to inform measures to be put in place “for the exploitation phase.”

Posted in Cabinet,Presidential, Energy, Fuel,oil,renewables, Land,Agriculture, Public utilities, Uncategorized0 Comments

Move by minister to qualify shale gas exploration

Drilling OK but no “fracking”

Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu has said her ministry is to consider Karoo shale-gas exploration licence applications but such would be on the basis of excluding  fracking until the country’s mining regulations had been “augmented” to allow for what hydraulic fracturing involved.

She said that normal drilling could take place as well as geophysical and geochemical mapping but the fracking process itself could not take place during the time it would take draft “appropriate regulations, controls and coordination systems”.    The waiting period to allow for this would be about six months to a year, she said.

The minister did not state when the issuance of licences would commence as a result of the cabinet’s “conditional” approval of fracking exploration at the beginning of September but said that a monitoring committee would be established to oversee the augmentation of the mining regulations, as well as to supervise possible fracking operations.

Posted in Energy, Fuel,oil,renewables, Labour, Mining, beneficiation, Public utilities, Trade & Industry0 Comments

SKA universe telescope contract split between the two rivals

The US$2bn contract — which will now increase in cost – for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope complex competed for between Australia and South Africa is being shared, according to John Wormsley, the SKA board chairman, following a meeting of SKA members in Holland a few weeks ago.

Speaking on the award to complete the building and to operate the world’s most powerful radio telescope to look into the universe, Wormsley, according to a SAPA report on a press meeting held at the time at Schiphol Airport, said, “We have decided on a dual site approach.”

“We will be installing equipment in both Australia and South Africa and together they will form part of a global observatory,” he said.

President Jacob Zuma  congratulated science and technology minister, Naledi Pandor, on winning the SA portion of the bid to host the SKA. It would seem that the South African government interpreted the award as a major win for South Africa due the nature of the duality and the split in money terms.

President Zuma announced, “On behalf of government and fellow South Africans, I congratulate Ms Naledi Pandor and her entire team for their hard work which saw South Africa win the bid to host this major Square Kilometre Array at home.”

The decision for a “dual site solution” was taken after a recent meeting by a SKA working group, which Wormsley said “made the best use of both the significant investments those countries made to astronomy.”

South Africa’s site in the Karoo will have dish arrays connected by a remote link to a network of dishes stretching across southern and eastern Africa up to Ghana.

President Zuma further acknowledged that this “mammoth achievement was possible because of the African Union endorsement and support from partner countries, namely, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia and Zambia.”

Posted in Cabinet,Presidential, Electricity, Energy, Finance, economic, Fuel,oil,renewables, Labour0 Comments

Fracking report complete but Minister ponders on result

Minister Susan Shabangu told Parliament during her Budget vote speech said that department of mineral resources (DMR) had already completed its report on the feasibility of shale gas exploration in South Africa. It remained with the department at this stage.

Earlier, various ministers had confirmed that the report on proposals from Shell Petroleum is expected to be with cabinet only in late July.

In a press meeting before she addressed the National Assembly, minister Shabangu said the controversy surrounding the process of fracking was one of the key reasons for the current delay in the passing of the report onwards and how DMR and the department of energy (DME) should position themselves with the results.

She reminded her audience that the proposals at this stage were only to proceed with fracking at exploration level.

Posted in Cabinet,Presidential, Energy, Finance, economic, Fuel,oil,renewables, Labour, Land,Agriculture, Public utilities, Trade & Industry0 Comments


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