This essay is related to the process of Fracking and its implications on the Karoo. It will provide a background on exactly what Fracking is and how the process is carried out and also how and to what extent the process will affect the Karoo. Knowledge gained from the environmental economics course will be used and various factors and arguments will be weighed and taken into consideration with the goal aimed at reaching an evidence based decision as to whether Fracking should or should not be allowed in the Karoo.
With the level of industrialisation the world faces today there is an ever increasing demand for oil, coal and other sources of energy to fuel a vast array of industrialist operations. It is evident however according to
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The following diagram illustrates how the process of Fracking takes place: (Bill McKibben, 2012) South Africa, along with other various nations of the world, are all challenged with the task of meeting future demands for energy of their growing economies along with increasing standards of living. The development of natural gas reserves in the country as a source of energy would therefore offer substantial value to the nation by providing more power to help run the nations key businesses, transportation and homes (Golder Associates, 2011). It can help provide electricity to deprived rural areas which means better health care in these areas as a result of stable electricity, as well as better schooling infrastructure and greater funds for the country that can help develop these impoverished areas (Golder Associates, 2011). In addition, given the fact that natural gas is less harmful to the environment than coal, oil and other fossil fuels, Fracking projects should most certainly be taken into consideration (Golder Associates, 2011).
The following graph shows South Africa’s natural gas production (in billions of cubic feet) for the 29 year period from 1980 to 2009: (U.S energy information administration, 2012)
The above graph shows that South African operations regarding gas production only started at around the 1991and then started to increase rapidly. On average South African natural gas