It’s not ‘a done deal’ - 11 March 2014

Shell says fracking isn’t a ‘done deal’ the way most think it is, according to today’s Cape Times.

‘We want to go into exploration. As you get to understand the geology underground you can work out what is the economically recoverable volume… then you can come to a viable return,’ writes environmental reporter Melanie Gosling, quoting Shell ‘upstream manager’ Niall Kramer.

First, a US report reckoned we had 485 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of shale gas, says the article.

‘This was later revised to 370 tcf. Now the Petroleum Agency of South Africa (PASA) estimates Karoo serves to be around 40 tcf… Shell wants to put down between six and 24 exploration wells. If it finds reserves which are ‘attractive and economically viable’ it would apply for a licence to frack, Kramer said.’

That’s some pretty radical adjusting of estimates… how much lower can they really go?