Gas Testing Oversight in Botswana

In June of this year, Gas Specialist Chris Nelson was in Botswana overseeing desorption testing and sample collection as part of Cipher’s services to Exxaro Resources. The Late Permian coal measures in the Kalihari area of Botswana are being investigated for coalbed methane (CBM) potential.

Chris Nelson validating gas data on site in the Kalihari desert, Botswana

Chris Nelson validating gas data on site in the Kalihari desert, Botswana

The coal deposits of both South Africa and Botswana (and, of course, other adjacent countries) have been the focus of numerous exploration ventures for coal and, more recently, CBM. Not unsurprisingly, a number of reports have also been published on these deposits over the years (e.g. Bennett, 1989; Cairncross, 2001; Catuneanu et al., 2005; Johnson et al., 1996).

As outlined in the above publications, these coal beds can vary from low to relatively high rank and the geology, though not overly complicated, is not considered boring (e.g. Modisi, 2000)! One of the features of the Permian coal measures in Botswana and adjacent areas are the dyke swarms which has profound local and regional effects (Le Gall et al., 2005).

Its been said that no two coal basins are the same, and this has certainly been proven to be the case from the experiences of the Cipher Associates. However, using sound approaches to data collection, assessment, analysis and interpretation has always given our clients the best information to base investment decisions. Knowledge is a powerful commercial tool.

Bennett, J.D., 1989. Smaller coal basins in Africa Project – Final Report: Review fo the Lower Karoo coal basins and coal   resource develoment in parts of central and southern Africa with particular reference to northern Malawi. British Geological Survey, Keyworth Nottingham, England.

Cairncross, B., 2001. An overview of the Permian (Karoo) coal deposits fo southern Africa. Journal of African Earth Sciences 33, 529-562.

Catuneanu, O., Wopfner, H., Eriksson, P.G., Cairncross, B., Rubidge, B.S., Smith, R.M.H., Hancox, P.J., 2005. The Karoo basins of south-central Africa. Journal of African Earth Sciences 43, 211-253.

Johnson, M.R., Van Vuuren, C.J., Hegenberger, W.F., Key, R., Shoko, U., 1996. Stratigraphy of the Karoo Supergroup in southern Africa: an overview. Journal of African Earth Sciences 23, 3-15.

Le Gall, B., Tshoso, G., Dyment, J., Kampunzu, A.B., Jourdan, F., Féraud, G., Bertrand, H., Aubourg, C., Vétel, W., 2005. The Okavango giant mafic dyke swarm (NE Botswana): its structural significance within the Karoo Large Igneous Province. Journal of Structural Geology 27, 2234-2255.

Modisi, M.P., 2000. Fault system at the southeastern boundary of the Okavango Rift, Botswana. Journal of African Earth Sciences 30, 569-578.


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