The continent has lots of shale gas, but development will happen more quickly in the south than the north
IN AFRICA, it is the northern and southern ends of the continent that hold most of the shale gas potential – regions not only distinct geographically, but also in terms of the prospects and operating conditions on offer.
In North Africa, shale gas deposits lie mainly in countries where unconventional supply is regarded as an adjunct to more lucrative and easily accessible conventional oil and gas supply, such as Algeria and Libya. In the south, it is South Africa, a country yet to find major oil and gas reserves and keen to do so, where the largest shale gas deposits lie.
South Africa’s relatively stable political background, less opaque investment framework and the estimated size of its shale reserves – its technically recoverable resources of 390 trillion cubic feet (cf) are the world’s eighth largest – are likely to benefit its push towards early commercial production. However, it will…