There is little chance of fracking in the Karoo within the next decade, if ever, BMI Research said in a report released on Tuesday morning. BMI’s conclusions are based on a Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) study that found the proponents of Karoo fracking had overstated local socioeconomic benefits while downplaying key technical problems — not least that shale gas is a highly water-intensive business and the region is drought stricken. Minerals and Energy Minister Mosebenzi Zwane appeared to have ignored the CSIR’s warnings when he recently announced that government policy would make provision for energy companies to start prospecting for shale gas in the Karoo Basin. But according to BMI, environmentalists have little to worry about because only major players would have the technical expertise or capital to develop fracking in the Karoo, and they were not interested. "For example, Royal Dutch Shell, which pulled back from its plans for shale gas exploration in...

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