Within a year we will be celebrating 2016, completing the cycle of our national vision’s aspirations.
Miracles happen for those who believe, hope and are optimistic. While challenges remain, there seem to be glimpses of hope that 2015 could usher in some positives that Batswana can look forward to benefitting from with zeal.
The year started with an announcement by Coal Bed Methane (CBM) exploration company, Tlou Energy, that it achieved peak flow rates of 395,000 ft3 of gas per day during production testing of its CBM Selemo Pilot in Botswana.
“Notably, the results to date indicate that the economic threshold for a potential development has been met when all key factors are taken into consideration.” The Selemo Pilot is the first in Botswana to flow CBM at these rates. It is expected that as additional wells are placed near the Selemo Pilot, this would assist in maintaining (or even enhancing) the longer-term gas flow rate, given a significantly larger area of the coal seam would be maintained below the gas desorption pressure.
This is exciting news that gives us high hopes that, sooner or later, Botswana could be an exporter of fuel mined in Botswana, most likely leading to new fuel related industries never imagined before.
Botswana has been toying around with the fascination of extracting its own fuel sources for a couple of decades now, since the first company started a project of the same kind at Kodibeleng near Lephephe, only for frustrations to hit the project as investors then claimed the gas had evaporated before they could extract it, or something like that.
Then a few years ago, a South African company, Sasol, announced they were exploring for oil in Botswana, only to abandon the project quietly. That Botswana is a very rich source of coal and possibly coal bed methane has always been in the public domain, but we just needed an ambitious investor to go a step further and prove, by extraction, that Botswana truly has huge sources of coal bed methane that can be exploited economically.
The extraction of gas in Botswana would be the most refreshing news since the diamonds.
Interestingly, the gas exploration and discovery news come at a time when government has already launched its oil company which is expected to take economic diversification and citizen economic empowerment to another level in the short and long term.