Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What the frac?

There are calls for a moratorium on exploring for shale gas in the Karoo.

Does the rent-a-mob have a clue what they are talking about? Do they know the depth of the shale, and have they worked out what that means? Do they understand that not much deeper, the rocks start to glow? Are they not worried that 'fracking' might bring all that lava to the surface?

Seriously, though, at the depths we are talking about, the problem is not the damage done by fracking, but how to keep the cracks open while the gas comes out. As soon as possible, at the pressures 1000 or more metres down there, the cracks close up and the miniscule risk of the water from the upper aquifers getting contaminated goes for ever (and anyway, the mechanism for water to move up and down in the upper layers of the Earth's crust is not obvious).

The other thing about this bunch of do-gooders is that they preach 'sustainable development' of the Karoo. That requires some additional source of wealth. All that I have seen is regrowth of the villages by city dwellers anxious to get away from it all. This is hardly sustainable. New wealth to sustain development would flow if gas were discovered in large quantities.

How sad that the producers of that cheap trick called "Gaslands" failed to get the message across in the USA, which has just increased its gas reserves by 500 million tcf due to shale gas. This has probably saved the US economy. The Gaslanders have come here in the hopes of more bounty than they could get at home - and some of us have fallen for it. The wealth that shale gas in the Karoo could create is almost immeasurable - and the anti-fracking mob think it is worth throwing away. Does 'fascist pigs' fit the bill? It does if you are struggling to make ends meet in a distant dorpie.

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