Shell: LNG offers solution to SA energy crisis

South Africa’s economy is growing and so is the countries’ energy consumption. Could the development of natural gas as a source of energy, be a solution to South Africa’s energy needs? Cape Business News took part in a media round-table discussion with Shell South Africa to find out more about the development of LNG technology and transport in South Africa.

Jan Willem Eggink, GM of Upstream, Shell South Africa, said, “South Africa is a stable country and Shell has been here for over 100 years. And so we would like to provide energy solutions to South Africa by either bringing in gas through LNG, finding gas onshore or offshore and possibly finding oil offshore.”

“There is clearly a need to produce power in the Western Cape,” said John Shoobridge, LNG Business Development Manager, Shell South Africa.

“We have not yet drilled to be able to understand if there is any Shell gas available, as we imagine there is. There is no guarantee,” said Shoobridge.

“The chance of finding oil and gas is the range of 10% - 20%. This suggests that there is a high financial risk that Shell is taking. For an oil/gas well to be successful, one may have to drill 10 wells globally to have a discovery, Eggink said.

“Similarly with onshore (Karoo exploration are,) there is a good chance with finding gas, but there is also a good chance that there is no gas. We do not know exactly what the chances are. But we are keen to do this because if we find gas in the Karoo, we have a market for that.”

“The major concerns people have around drilling, is how much land we will use, and where the water is coming from, as well as a risk of water contamination. Before we drill any well, an environmental impact assessment is done,” Eggink adds.

“I am committed and certain that we can do this in an environmentally safe way.”

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