ABOUT COAL BED METHANE (CBM)
CBM production is rapidly expanding worldwide due to its low-cost of production and widespread availability. The technology is well understood, having been proven commercially in the USA since the mid 1980’s. CBM reserves have also been successfully developed in a number of other countries including Canada, Australia, India and China.
CBM in Botswana
In Botswana, the rapidly increasing demand for energy (specifically electricity), combined with a large CBM reserves in the central Kalahari region makes CBM the logical choice for meeting the regions short, medium and longer term energy requirements.
Within the country CBM has been under development for a substantial period. KEB has been involved in strategic CBM partnerships since 2000 prospecting and developing the commercial opportunity.
It is estimated that the probable economic recoverable reserve under development is around 10.8 tcf (P50). This is a more than adequate volume of gas to facilitate major development.
Kalahari Energy’s leases are in south east Botswana on the eastern side of the Kalahari Karoo Basin. An extension of this basin extends into South Africa via the Ellisras Basin.
Benefits of CBM
- Sourced and produced in Botswana.
- Reduction of Botswana’s dependency on the importation of more expensive fossil fuels and electricity thus creating employment locally.
- Environmentally more friendly than petrol, diesel, paraffin, coal and wood.
- More economic than alternative fossil fuels in the region. By reducing the cost of energy the communities will benefit in many ways and poverty can be alleviated.
- Reduces respiratory health related issues associated with paraffin, coal and wood.
- Using CBM instead of burning wood prevents deforestation and time spent on collecting firewood.
- Supports the United Nations “Millennium Development Goals” and the UNFCCC Paris Agreement of 2015.
Botswana contains large Permian Karoo bituminous coal deposits with 4.3 billion tons of proved recoverable reserves. Coal is currently only mined at Morupule for local power generation.
KEB commissioned Advanced Resources International of Arlington, USA (“ARI”) in April 2001 to perform a feasibility assessment of producing CBM from its lease holding area. According to the ARI feasibility study, the main coal-bearing sequence in Botswana appears to consistently have two or three principal coal seams of good quality. The lower most seam, referred to as the Morupule Main seam is generally 2 to 3 metres thick with a second 3 to 4 metre seam (the Lotsane seam) lying about 15 to 20 metres above. In some areas a third seam, the Serowe Bright seam is present but is generally thin (less than 1 metre).
In addition to these three seams, there are additional thin coal seams as well as “coaly mudstones” and shaley coals in the section. Carbonaceous shales of Botswana are considered to be prospective for gas development.
In addition, it should be noted that drilling work in South Africa (by Anglo Coal) and Zimbabwe (by AfPenn Exploration and Shangani Exploration) on similar Karoo coal deposits have also confirmed that Karoo coal deposits hold highly prospective reserves of CBM resource.