The discovery and exploitation of very large shale gas reserves in countries like the United States have transformed the energy market. South Africa may also possess potentially large resources of shale gas. This could have a significant positive impact on the country’s energy balance should it be decided to exploit these resources. The exploitation of these key energy resources might also have a significant social, economic or environmental impact while also presenting considerable technical challenges. Given the recent challenges the country is facing in terms of energy supply, the possibility of exploiting shale gas deposits for power generation is of current significance. Shale gas also presents other downstream opportunities. Some include providing a key resource for the production of liquid fuels and chemicals, or enabling the development of a domestic market for gas as a cleaner energy resource. UncertaintiesSouth Africa’s Karoo region, in the south west of the country, is th...

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