Completion of the Airborne Magnetic Survey (AMS) and drilling of exploration boreholes, sampling and testing in July 2012 and March 2013, respectively, will assist Kubu Energy to proceed to the next coalbed methane (CBM) exploration phase, Sasol Petroleum International (SPI) CBM/coal seam gas (CSG) Assets and New Ventures Manager Dr. Steve Bodon has said.
Bodon said in Gaborone last week that in the meantime, Kubu Energy, a joint venture between SPI and Origin Energy Limited (Origin) exploring CBM in Botswana, is currently evaluating data from the drilling programme before taking the next step.
SPI, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sasol Limited, manages Sasol’s upstream oil and natural gas assets. Origin is Australia’s leading integrated energy company focused on gas and oil exploration and production; power generation and energy retailing.
Speaking to Sunday Standard in an interview held during the June 11 to 12 Resource Sector Conference, Bodon said: “We are a long way off from completing the exploration and development of an undertaking for the final gas recovery using the three CBM licences covering 3 000km┬▓ in Botswana’s Central District. We are respectful of all our stakeholders and the responsibility we hold to ensure a transparent and open relationship with all our business activities.
“Kubu Energy holds regular meetings in the villages of Dimajwe, Mmashoro, Letlhakane, Molatswe, Mosu and Mokubilo, providing them with information and insight on every aspect of our exploration activities. Furthermore, a register is kept and regularly updated to ensure all community concerns are addressed to maintain positive relationships.
“A Ranchers’ task team comprising local community members has been established to address issues affecting ranchers and cattle post owners, with meetings held every month.”
Kubu Energy values best practices and ensures all exploration activities are environmentally friendly, meeting rigorous global health, safety and environmental standards regarding exploration activities. The Company completed an Environmental Management Plan (EMP), shared with respective government authorities and local communities, before commencing the initial Exploration Phase. A groundwater hydro census study (GHS) was conducted to collect baseline information as part of EMP.
He said a large CBM commercial discovery in Botswana would be used to generate power and provide alternative fuel options, alleviating the growing electricity shortage and fuel supply in the region. It would also create employment and new service provider opportunities, contributing to the country’s wealth accumulation.
CBM, a cleaner energy, can be used as traditional natural gas for cooking, heating and is particularly suited to electricity generation. The gas is generated as a by-product during the process of coal formation or “coalification” upon deep burial, heating and compaction of accumulated organic plant material. In the process, gases are absorbed onto the internal surfaces of the coal matrix and generally composed of combustible methane, with lesser amounts of carbon dioxide and nitrogen.
Bodon said the year 2014 is technologically exciting with high prospects of CBM going on stream.