Opposition to fracking is not leftist or anti-development

Saliem Fakir BDLive 3 July 2013.

Cape Town in August 2011. Picture: THE TIMES

SIMON Lincoln Reader has become the latest proponent of fracking. In his column on BDlive, he rails against environmentalists, bunching them all as left-leaning. His generalisations are quite a stretch.

As much as Jonathan Deal, chairman of the Treasure the Karoo Action Group — whom Reader criticises in one of his columns — is a public spokesman for anti-fracking activists, he is not exactly what leftists would call left. He has no tradition in leftist politics and would say so himself, even if some the issues he takes up are of interest to the left…

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Plans afoot to increase the role of gas in SA’s energy mix

Samantha Moolman | 31 May 2013 | Engineering News

As an abundant global resource, natural gas is poised to take centre stage in the world’s total energy mix by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), with more than 200 years of proved reserves and a worldwide increase in gas consumption, partly due to the global need for energy security.

Moreover, with the significant increase of natural gas finds in Southern Africa – once one of the world’s leading mining investment destinations – countries like Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana and Tanzania are steadily contributing to Africa’s total natural gas reserves.

According to the latest BP Statistical Review, these were estimated to be about 513 tcf at the end of 2011 – about 7% of the world’s reserves, which amount to 7 361 tcf. Compounded with a steady increase in gas discoveries, this is garnering significant investment interest worldwide.

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Limiting Methane Leaks Critical to Gas, Climate Benefits

Climate Central 22 May 2013.

(Contributor’s note: Although this is a US study, it is relevant to South Africa, particularly with respect to the governance of the future use of natural gas in South Africa – both from fracking and from imported liquefied natural gas. Issues such as collecting baseline methane emission and water quality and availability before fracking starts and how depleted fracking wells will be closed down are important. We don’t want a repeat of the acid mine drainage problem. See the interactive graph – it is excellent!)

Knowing how much methane is leaking from the natural gas system is essential to determining the potential climate benefits of natural gas use. Our extensive review of the publicly available studies finds that a pervasive lack of measurements makes it nearly impossible to know with confidence what the average methane leak rate is for the U.S. as a whole. More measurements, more reliable data, and better understanding of industry practices are needed.

It has been widely reported that shifting from coal to gas in electricity generation will provide a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. In reality, the extent of reduced global warming impact depends largely on three factors:

  1. The methane leak rate from the natural gas system;
  2. How much time has passed after switching from coal to gas, because the potency of methane as a greenhouse gas is 102 times that of carbon dioxide (on a pound-for-pound basis) when first released into the atmosphere and decays to 72 times CO2 over 20 years and to 25 times CO2 over 100 years, and;
  3. The rate at which coal electricity is replaced by gas electricity.

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Gas a game changer for SA: Eskom CEO

Sapa | 14 May, 2013 | Times LIVE

Gas can be a “game-changer” for South Africa in the power sector, Eskom CEO Brian Dames said on Tuesday.

He said Eskom was particularly aware of the deficit in access to electricity, and that there was a growing role for gas in the country and in the sub-Saharan region.

“It is a lot less carbon intensive than fossil fuels, and some of the cleanest fossil fuel,” he told delegates at the African Utility Week conference in Cape Town. Continue reading

Namibia’s Kudu gasfield to produce in 2017 – official

Engineering News 24 April 2013.

Namibia expects to produce natural gas by the second half of 2017 at its much-delayed, 800-megawatt Kudu gas-to-power plants, Obeth Kandjoze, MD of the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia, told a gas conference on Tuesday.

The Kudu project near Oranjemund in south-western Namibia will pump gas from the Kudu field about 170 km (100 miles) offshore to a combined cycle gas power plant.

The power plant will be connected to the Namibian and South African electricity grids…

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Underground coal gas power project on cards in Free State

Engineering News 24 April 2013.

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – A project that will supply underground coal gas from a deep, stranded coal deposit in the Free State to an independent power producer (IPP) is at an advanced stage of planning.

Former Sasol executives Johan Brand and Eliphus Monkoe, who bought 1.4-billion tons of coal near Theunissen from BHP Billiton, have teamed up as African Carbon Energy (Africary), which has been operating since 2007.

A memorandum of understanding has been signed with a still-to-be-named IPP, which will build, own and operate a 50 MW combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant and buy the underground coal gasification- (UCG-) produced syngas as a fuel gas from Africary.

“We will be transforming the face of coal mining and electricity production in South Africa,” Brand told Mining Weekly Online in an interview on the sidelines of the Fossil Fuel Foundation UCG workshop on Wednesday…

(Contributor’s note: What about doing an EIA? What about their carbon emissions? What about fugitive emissions? What about water usage? What about the air pollution from the incineration of the waste condensate? What about jumping through all the hoops that the renewable energy IPPs had to?)

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Namibia’s Kudu gasfield to produce in 2017

Reuters | 24th April 2013 | Engineering News

Namibia expects to produce natural gas by the second half of 2017 at its much-delayed, 800-megawatt Kudu gas-to-power plants, Obeth Kandjoze, MD of the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia, told a gas conference on Tuesday.

The Kudu project near Oranjemund in south-western Namibia will pump gas from the Kudu field about 170 km (100 miles) offshore to a combined cycle gas power plant.

The power plant will be connected to the Namibian and South African electricity grids.

SOURCE: http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/namibias-kudu-gasfield-to-produce-in-2017-official-2013-04-24?utm_source=feedly