Shale Play by South African Firm

Image from CNN.

Image from CNN.

August 22, 2013

By Dr. Tyra OldhamLANDsds Sustainable Voice News

The degree of global investment is growing . The news of oil and gas development boom is fostering international investment in the shale play.  The announcement of Sasol the “South African firm invests billions in U.S. energy future” is the future picture of this energy driver.

CNN reported, ” Sasol, a Johannesburg-based energy giant, announced late last year its intention to spend up to $14 billion on building the first U.S.-based commercial plant to perform the alchemy of turning natural gas into liquid fuels — hailed as one of the biggest investments from a non-U.S. company in American history.”

Sasol’s leverage solution is “using a process known as gas-to-liquids (GTL), the company plans to chemically convert gas into transport fuels, lubricants and other chemical products. Sasol, which already operates smaller GTL plants in South Africa and Qatar, expects its Louisiana-based facility to produce at least 96,000 barrels per day, creating 1,200 permanent jobs in the following years” in its origin of operation.

“The price of the natural gas in the United States is about the lowest in the world and the markets are also in the U.S.,” says Thomas.”

The work of new technologies is integral to the robustness of this energy pocket.  Mike Thomas, vice president of U.S. operations, explaining the company’s proprietary technology states, “In that technology we take natural gas and we actually break the molecule down and then reform that molecule into other high-value products like diesel.”

“Sasol’s mega-project in Louisiana also includes a separate $5 to $7 billion ethane cracker and derivatives plant. It has picked the United States for its GTL facility because the country has abundant shale gas, released through the controversial drilling process of hydraulic fracturing — or fracking. ”

The price of natural gas is low and will undoubtedly will shake up the renewable market as attention is placed heavily in one area. The infusion of global investment on U.S. energy is based on this hot commodity of fracking. Despite its detractors the industry is louder than ever.

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Posted in Africa, Business, Economics, Energy, Energy Investment, Financial News, Fracking, Global, Natural Gas, Oil and Gas, Sustainability Nexuses, World News

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