Safeguarding The Environment as Brulpadda Gas Find Excites SA

Author(s): 
Sue Reuther and Scott Masson interviewed by African Mining Brief
Date: 
Friday, April 5, 2019
First presented: 
www.ambriefonline.com
Type: 
Article
Category: 
Environmental/Social

News of the large Brulpadda gas find off South Africa’s southern coast has raised hopes that the local oil and gas sector may hold considerable economic treasure. Experts emphasise, however, that all environment risks need to be properly mitigated in the process of exploiting these resources.

The good news is that the country has access to considerable environmental expertise and experience in this specialised field. According to SRK Consulting associate partner and principal environmental consultant Sue Reuther, a discovery like Brulpadda could – if proven – still take a decade to bring into production.

“It may be too early to hail this as a game-changer for the South African economy, but it has certainly raised interest and more than a little excitement,” said Reuther. “Apart from the value of natural gas to the economy, it would also contribute hugely to national efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Natural gas emits about 50% less carbon dioxide when combusted than coal.”

There is no doubt much more work needs to be done – such as on further test-drilling and feasibility studies – before Brulpadda can be brought to market. Among the hurdles it will have to negotiate is the range of potential environmental impacts that must be investigated and addressed.

Acknowledged: African Mining Brief and www.ambriefonline.com

SRK North America