hallenger Energy (ASX:CEL) is focused on progressing its shale gas assets in South Africa’s Karoo Basin, one of the world’s largest unconventional gas provinces.
The company’s 95%-owned subsidiary Bundu Gas and Oil Exploration was the first to apply for shale gas exploration rights in the Basin, which has overall recoverable resources of 370 trillion cubic feet of gas – the eight largest globally.
Notably, its 4,300 square kilometre permit application surrounds the discovery well and is adjacent to applications by Shell, Chevron and Falcon.
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Challenger’s permit application area is centred around the 1968 discovery well that flowed gas to surface from a vertical unstimulated bore, highlighting its potential.
The target shales include the upper, middle Ecca shales from 1,500 metres to 1,800 metres and the Basal Ecca shales from 110 metres to 150 metres.
Notably, the recoverable resource estimate by the U.S. Energy Information Administration only considers the Basal Ecca due to higher organic content.
The EIA study also estimates that about 7Tcf of risked recoverable gas is available in the permit area for the Basal Ecca alone.
Challenger expects the work program to include seismic reprocessing, 1-2 core holes as well as drill, complete and fracture stimulate 1 well before carrying out production testing.
South Africa has severe supply constraints with increased demand since 1994 driving a 12% increase in the electricity price in 2012-13 as well as a 101% increase in gas during the same period.
A doubling of current power generation capacity to 89 gigawatts is targeted by 2030.
The government has also expressed support for shale gas exploration and has confirmed that it is ready to regulate shale gas exploration with public consultation starting in September.
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