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July 30, 2012

Energy News - Waterless LPG Natural Gas Fracking and Tanzania Uranium

1. Business Insider - A planned shale gas drilling project in New York state has drawn global attention for its aim to make use of a waterless form of hydraulic fracking – a new technique designed to reduce the pollution associated with controversial natural gas drilling processes.

The project (in the Marcellus Shale) is focused on using a technology that pumps a thick gel made from propane into the ground as opposed to using traditional methods of hydraulic fracking that make use of a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals to extract natural gas reserves from deep shale formations. Unlike traditional technologies, the gel from the new liquefied propane gas (LPG) fracking method reverts to vapor while still underground, and as a result returns to the surface in a recoverable form.

Propane/butane gel could very well become the shale 'treatment of choice' in all countries because of its many technical and environmental benefits relative to large volume 'slick' water fracking techniques.



GASFRAC first used the patented process in a commercial setting four years ago and has since fracked over 1,300 wells in Canada and the US. The method was originally designed to improve the performance of low-pressure wells and has impressed those within the environmental arena.

“That has been the real surprise for us, an extra advantage,” said Doug McMillan, Vice President of GASFRAC. “In areas of drought-stricken Texas, water is impounded and sold for traditional fracking,” he continued. “And in the eastern US, there are concerns about water disposal and population density, but we can work there and are even going to be in New York.”

Increases oil and gas flow by 2 to 3 times

According to a report by The Vancouver Sun, while GASFRAC charges a 50 percent premium in comparison to traditional fracking companies, there can be significant savings in water use, truck traffic, and easier site cleanups. Apart from logistical gains, the article also referred to the rise in well production as “spectacular.” Reports from the Cardium formation, which is west of Edmonton, displayed that LPG fracking results are “two to three times better” at increasing the flow of oil and gas in comparison to traditional methods.

2. Uranium production in Tanzania will start in the second quarter of 2014.
Mantra Tanzania Limited is developing the Mkuju River Project (MRP).

The definitive feasibility study, completed in May 2011, indicated that, once developed, the mine will produce 1,900 tonnes of uranium oxide a year and will immediately overtake the USA which produces 1,560 tonnes according to 2009 estimates.

The construction of the MRP planned to commence on the third quarter of 2012, with a 21 month construction period envisaged.

Tanzania is expecting an average annual production of 1,900 tonnes of uranium, with scope for increased production in the second phase.

The project will have an initial mine life of 12 years, but with a very strong potential to increase this period significantly, the Mantra statement said and it added that, exploration at the Mkuju River Project site is continuing as the deposit has only been explored for less than four years

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