Petition to stop fracking for oil in the Kavango region

fourfive8

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As to the rape of natural resources in various countries in Africa? Whether or not roads are cut into wild areas for fracking or some other extraction of any kind, it is just a very small fraction of the overall short and long-term destruction going on. China is like a large, wealthy and powerful swarm of locusts. They could not care less about environmental issues and only supply "show" examples and cosign environmental treaties and accords for the optics benefit of a willing and complicit world media. They simply and apparently easily maintain their third world status label so as to be exempted from restrictive international environmental regulations. Chinese eco-tourist business on the front- rape of resources behind the curtain... yet sometimes hiding in plain view if you know what to look for or what you're looking at.

A few years ago, I was witness to and involved in the investigation of a Chinese timber operation in rural Africa. Chinese middle man with a pocket full of cash was sent in first. He purchased equipment for hardwood "harvest", recruited local labor and greased the palm of a local official for issuance of a timber harvest permit. The locals we talked to were being paid something like the equivalent of $1.50 USD per tree to cut large, very old hardwoods of various species, some valued at several thousand dollars each as an end product in China. The local laborers get paid starvation wages, the local official gets a salary bonus and that's about it, economically, for the African country being raped. Don't even tell me of the local potential economic benefits of such activity!

While in Zambia one time, I overheard an ex-pat Brit talking about how good that type of "economic" agreement with China would be for the Zambian government and for the local Zambian economy if large tracts of hardwoods were "harvested" there for export to China... Good grief! Even some semi-locals, who should know better, have been brainwashed at some level by the international, "global think" media.
 

375 Ruger Fan

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An article with a little more detail, but I also think it's a bit of a churn article to drive up the stock price. Most explorers like to keep pretty quiet before any real discoveries.


 

WAB

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Alaska has proven that development can be done with little environmental impact. However, there are a number of factors that would concern me with this development:

1) Responsible development requires detailed deployment, operations and demobilization plans, as well as strict enforcement of those plans. I don't know that the governments involved or a Junior startup out of Calgary with a market cap of $140MM have the wherewithal or intestinal fortitude to do so. $140MM market cap is certainly not the sort of number I'd be looking for to provide guarantees. I believe that I know these guys, and they're not bad guys, just not financially set up to backstop a development like this.
2) Alaska's success required access restrictions. Initially the haul road was not open to non-oil traffic. It is now open but with significant restrictions. For example, you cannot hunt with firearms within 5 miles of the road. A very small local population and good enforcement resources ensure that this is adhered to.
3) Alaskan operations with ground access restricted to winter months allowed deployment of resources with little or no environmental impact. Minor spills were easily dealt with on frozen tundra. The Okavanga is a much different story and much more susceptible to damage. There is no season with restricted leaching potential.
4) Populations close to the Okavanga are quite large and unlikely to follow any access rules not strictly enforced. Strict enforcement of land use and wildlife management are not the hallmarks of the governments involved.

Bottom line, this development is of significant concern. However, I am also reluctant to try to tell another country how to run their business. Alaskans were outraged by the restrictions put on the responsible development of their resources by a bunch of uninformed, left wing, nut bars in DC. The most proud I have ever been of a politician was when we started aerial gunning wolves to get the population under control. PETA et al threatened a boycott of Alaska if it didn't stop. The governor's response: 'that's fine we didn't want you here anyway!'

Bottom line, I understand the frustration of other nations with the overreach of the nutcases in DC.
 

Philip Glass

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Mike, I believe a better stated position would be being against exploration and the development it brings in a wild area. I get that.

My son is a Petroleum Engineer for EXXON MOBIL. Among other things, he designs frac jobs. Fracking is misunderstood. It increases production and reduces the need for more wells. Fracking combined with directional drilling (multiple wells drilled from one pad) greatly reduces the number of pads and well head locations in a given surface area. This is much better than the older methods that impact more real estate area.
Great point.
 

Philip Glass

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I understand @spike.t point here and I agree we want Africa to be wild. I think the trouble comes in with signing a petition against something like drilling for oil. It looks like lots of us are involved in the oil and gas business here so that makes it tough. We are losing lots of wilderness in Africa and not just to oil developed. It’s sad.
Philip
 

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I agree. I think we would be shocked if we could tally up how much conservation through hunting has been funded by oil sector careers.
 

TheWhitetailNut

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You just quoted the problem...lots of people moving into a wilderness area....in africa this equals poaching and destruction .....I knew this would bring out the oil people...and I knew they would be defending it....but to put it bluntly I would hate to see anything like it there....
100%

I went on my dream Alberta Deer hunt in a great area last year. This Whitetail hunt was the most expensive free range hunt I'd ever seen. It was awful, small fields and timber blocks. People everywhere, nothing like the wild northern experience I envisioned. When we did find a quiet field corner a bunch of does regularly used my guide dropped me off to slip in as it got light. In the falling snow I was certain I was looking at a buck with a main beam that went past his nose. Just then a pickup full of workers drove into the field right up to me and left just as fast when they stood.

I can kill bucks as big as anywhere 30 minutes from Chicago, with less interference. Game or not, when there is no quiet place, hunting is not even worth saving.
 

Gemsbok45

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You don’t live in Africa.There is no sensible development when it comes to the Chinese,Sorry,Keep the Chinese out at all cost to preserve the wilderness that will support local people,not just enrich the few.We talk about it all the time on this website.Sustainable utilization benefiting the local inhabitants not Govt cronies and the Chinese.
 

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A bit late to this but I'm seriously torn on such a development. IF the project is done sustainably and ethically whilst also providing jobs then I don't have any problem with it. However, major and rich powers such as Canada, the USA, Russia & China typically don't care about ethicality if it's overseas unless they're rightfully put under public scrutiny. Honestly, I believe this recent development is probably a cost of the hunting ban back in 2014. Sure, it's been lifted which is fantastic for sportsmen and the local economy, but the ban should never have taken place at all. Botswana lost a significant amount of much-needed money from hunters' dollars.

If my memory serves me correctly, one of the hunting concessions made to help local communities were converted for extracting valuable minerals. Ironic considering Ian Khama said this was all for conservation. In reality, the ban was meant to satisfy a few rich foreigners (richer than hunters) who couldn't quite comprehend the idea of hunting thru conservation in a third-world country. If anything bad happens from the fracking the only people to blame will be them.
 

375Fox

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A bit late to this but I'm seriously torn on such a development. IF the project is done sustainably and ethically whilst also providing jobs then I don't have any problem with it. However, major and rich powers such as Canada, the USA, Russia & China typically don't care about ethicality if it's overseas unless they're rightfully put under public scrutiny. Honestly, I believe this recent development is probably a cost of the hunting ban back in 2014. Sure, it's been lifted which is fantastic for sportsmen and the local economy, but the ban should never have taken place at all. Botswana lost a significant amount of much-needed money from hunters' dollars.

If my memory serves me correctly, one of the hunting concessions made to help local communities were converted for extracting valuable minerals. Ironic considering Ian Khama said this was all for conservation. In reality, the ban was meant to satisfy a few rich foreigners (richer than hunters) who couldn't quite comprehend the idea of hunting thru conservation in a third-world country. If anything bad happens from the fracking the only people to blame will be them.
It’s about Namibia not Botswana. Also American and Canadian oil companies are not state owned enterprises. American and Canadian companies have a lot to lose because judgments will be enforced against them (and probably issued) in their home countries.
 

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I concur that an increase in people is a problem. If you look at the deforestation in Mozambique any new influx of people in bush Africa is a problem.

I support fracking in America. As nationalist is it sounds, we probably need to save Africa from the Africans.
 

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Why would anyone be anti-fracking? What is the specific issue that people are against?
Fracking paid the bill for not 1 but 2 "kids" to become Doctors. All it generated was $ and natural gas for domestic use. Being in the environmental cleanup business, I personally sampled all neighbors drinking water wells before and after-and no issues (other than existing petroleum spills at select farms!) If done by the book-no issues. Energy from home is best. That map is a bit unclear, but looks like they're in the Caprivi (perhaps in or near one of the parks?) Just don't let 'em spoil the aesthetics (esp. the Okavango swamp below!) I may be seeing their progress on a future lechwe/buff hunt...The footprint of operations is quite small, but it Is water intensive. So long as it doesn't affect the flow of the river (which I know IS somewhat of a problem up in the Angolan headwaters!) Can any of the PHs comment on any changes to the Kavango flow in the Caprivi over the years?
 

WilhelmM

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It’s about Namibia not Botswana. Also American and Canadian oil companies are not state owned enterprises. American and Canadian companies have a lot to lose because judgments will be enforced against them (and probably issued) in their home countries.
Shit, ignore everything I said about Khama then. Even then, state-owned or private, foreign companies typically are not as concerned about ethicality if it's abroad and this isn't exclusive to America or Canada.

"judgements will be enforced against them (and probably issued) in their home countries"
That's exactly what I meant by them being put under public scrutiny.
 

WilhelmM

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I concur that an increase in people is a problem. If you look at the deforestation in Mozambique any new influx of people in bush Africa is a problem.

I support fracking in America. As nationalist is it sounds, we probably need to save Africa from the Africans.
I get your point but "saving Africa from the Africans" will never work in the modern-day. Yes, if it weren't for colonialism native Africans would still be living in mud huts. I get that. But there also wouldn't be nearly as many Africans if it weren't for colonialism. A sudden rise in new technology and higher living standards are the direct cause of Africa's population explosion. Similar to what happened in India.
 

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The Chinese will do anything to take everything from Africa, the same as they are doing in Australia, South America and the rest of Asia.
 

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