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Assessment of the Coal Bed Methane Resource Potential Within Coal-bearing Strata of the Karoo Supergroup, South Previous HitAfricaNext Hit


The main Karoo Basin and its subsidiary basins occupy more than half of South Previous HitAfrica'sNext Hit land surface (~700,000km2), and constitute a petroleum province with significant potential. The Karoo basin is the focus of renewed international exploration effort, with unconventional gas being the principal exploration target. Much attention has been focussed on exploring the relatively untapped coalfields associated with the Karoo basin and subsidiary fault controlled basins located in the north eastern limits of South Previous HitAfricaNext Hit. These regions are host to deeper coal resources. Increasing global energy demands make the exploration for coal bed methane (CBM) plays in frontier areas attractive. The present energy shortfall in South Previous HitAfricaNext Hit provides a new impetus for the development of an expanded natural gas industry. CBM exploration efforts are therefore important in identifying and assessing potential sources of natural gas which could provide alternative energy sources to address South Previous HitAfrica'sNext Hit growing energy demand. However, challenges to economic development of CBM resources in frontier areas of the world include undeveloped markets, distance to markets, and lack of infrastructure. The Petroleum Agency SA, within its mandate has initiated regional studies to evaluate the unconventional petroleum potential in respect of coalbed methane. These studies have permitted the Petroleum Agency SA to develop a fundamental scientific understanding that is supported by an information knowledge base of the controls, occurrence, geological and technological factors. The ability to assess recoverability and production of the resource, though, remains constrained by the limited data available nationally. The coal bed methane industry in South Previous HitAfricaTop is therefore still immature and the Agency has developed models to assess the resource potential of coal bed methane on a regional and basin-wide scale.