Fracking in the Karoo

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“Hydraulic fracturing (Fracking) is the process of drilling down and creating tiny explosions to shatter and crack hard shale rocks to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well. The process is carried out vertically or, more commonly, by drilling horizontally to the rock layer. The process can create new pathways to release gas or can be used to extend existing channels” ( The following essay is centred on the hydraulic fracturing (Fracking) aspirations in the Karoo shale gas exploration space. In this essay, it will discuss what is fracking and the benefits of exercising this in the Karoo. It will also discuss the controversy around fracking and potential problems that the Karoo might be exposed to if fracking is introduced. The Karoo in South Africa has a large barren landscape. The Karoo plateau actually covers a massive 15% of South Africa's total land mass and form the second largest plateau region outside of Asia. The Karoo desert is the largest ecosystem in South Africa, being home to a fascinating diversity of life, all having to adjust to the harsh conditions of the Karoo. It is home to some 9,000 species of succulents. Wildlife is also abundant in the Karoo and a wide variety of mammal, bird and reptile species have their home here. The main economic activity of the Karoo is sheep farming. Sheep wool and meat has become the economic backbone of the Karoo. In recent years, farmers are turning their land into game farms that attract many tourists every year. Today the Karoo is a great tourist attraction and is a place of great significance for the world’s paleontologists, astrologists, geologists and ecologists because in the Karoo lies a landscape that is abundant with fragments from the past in the form of fossils and a soil bed that
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