Botswana’s first ever specialist coal bed methane project, sponsored by Saber Energy, is progressing at an encouraging pace, Minister of Minerals Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kidikilwe, said.
Kedikilwe was responding to a question posed by Shoshong Member of Parliament Phillip Makgalemele, who wanted to know the future and status of the Kodibeleng gas project.
He also wanted to know what government had done to revive the project, and the total number of jobs lost since the project went on go slow mode.
In answer, Kedikilwe said in 2009 Saber Energy brought in a new operating group; Australian based Tlou Energy.
This was meant to advance the project towards a commercial stage.
Tlou Energy is currently undertaking a 12 well drilling programme as part of a comprehensive exploration exercise that began in October 2009 and is expected to be completed later this year.
Specialist Coal Bed Methane drilling and testing equipment has been mobilized from Australia to Botswana. Tlou Energy has built custom made laboratories in Francistown and at the prospecting site.
Timing on the next phase of activity will depend on results, though it is expected to continue directly after this initial phases.
The project encountered a transition period as Tlou Energy required time to mobilise suitable equipment to facilitate and advance the complex process of exploration.
Kedikilwe said he has had meetings with the project sponsors and also paid site visits to appreciate progress and lend support.
The project is meant to set up a gas pipeline linking Kodibeleng to the Mmamabula Energy Project.
Through the 120-kilometre pipeline, Saber energy will be able to supply CIC Energy’s needs when construction of Mmamabula Phase 1 commences.
The company is upbeat about prospects of clear rare coal bed methane. This will be the first unconventional gas project in Southern Africa.
Two gas pipelines are included in the scope of the study, one for the coal gas methane and the other for water recovered from the gas wells.
While conventional gas wells in the world last for an average two years, Saber Energy’s wells in Botswana are expected to last up to 25 years.
Saber Energy is a member of Tau Capital, which owns CIC Energy.