ASSA Pre-Publishes South African Fracking Report

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSA), in collaboration with the South African Academy of Engineering (SAAE), has pre-published a report on its investigations into the readiness of South Africa to support the shale gas industry. The 144 page report entitled, “South Africa’s Technical Readiness to support the Shale Gas Industry”, is very cautious and recommends further studies, feasibility and development of control structures.

It does seem to imply that a shale gas industry in South Africa is inevitable, although it does also recommend that an assessment of the economic implications of shale gas development in South Africa must be undertaken to critically assess the supply-demand situation, with further emphasis on comprehensive public consultation and engagement processes with local communities in the Karoo. It also states that the decision-making process on whether or not to proceed with the development of a shale gas industry must be based upon, “…robust and peer-reviewed evidence…”

The Report was commissioned in 2014 by the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) to assess current available information and technologies in the country should shale gas exploitation be implemented to counter energy challenges. The Report was considered by the South Africa Cabinet on 28th September 2016.