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State of the art: fracking for shale gas exploration in South-Africa and the impact on water resources
Expanded Title:There is a genuine concern that hydraulic fracturing or fracking poses a threat to available water supplies, i.e., groundwater and surface water systems. The technique is commonly used to enhance the production of low permeability formations such as tight sands, coal beds, and deep shales. Hydraulic fracturing is a technically complex process. Fracking not only involves the injection of potentially hazardous chemicals but also the management of these chemicals at the surface. During the stimulation process and upgrading of the gas there are effective management of the circulation fluids and associated wastes required. The volume of gas in the Karoo Supergroup formation is still unknown and no relevant data is available to even give a rough estimate. It was the aim of this project to define the state-of-the-art in terms of the Karoo hydrogeological conditions, potential shale gas reservoirs and the activities associated with fracking. The report also gives high level guidance on monitoring the fracking activities. This study attempted to consolidate existing research in the field of gas development processes and the associated impact this might have on the environment. It summarised the current knowledge on hydraulic fracturing in the public domain and provided a review of the regional geology and geohydrology of the Karoo Basin. The observation and findings made in this work is neither totally comprehensive nor exhaustive since very little data is available in the public domain on hydraulic fracturing in South Africa.
Date Published:01/02/2012
Document Type:Research Report
Document Keywords:Ground Water, Water Quality
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Consultant
WRC Report No:KV 294/11
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0225-6
Authors:Steyl G; van Tonder GJ; Chevallier L
Project No:K8/986
Organizations:Council for Geoscience; University of the Free State, Chemistry Department, Bloemfontein; University of the Free State, Institute for Groundwater Studies, Bloemfontein
Document Size:17 309 KB
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