Shale gas economics for South Africa: How geology, technology, finance and gas markets are inter-linked.

  • Date: Thursday, 02 October 2014
  • Venue: TIPS Boardroom, 227 Lange St, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Pretoria
  • Main Speakers: Saliem Fakir, Head of Living Planet Unit, World Wildlife Fund South Africa

The presentation will explore the viability of shale gas in South Africa from an economic lens. By focusing on issues such as geology, decline rates and breakeven costs of wells and exploring the relationship between gas prices and cash-flows, the presentation will seek to answer the core question of whether a shale revolution would occur in South Africa. In doing so, it will explore questions around the longevity of a shale revolution, the price at which shale gas is commercially viable, and the economic lessons from the US shale revolution.  Finally, it will look at the outstanding research questions pertaining to economic and investment issues related to shale gas. 


Saliem Fakir is the Head of the Living Planet Unit at the World Wildlife Fund South Africa. The Unit's work is focused on identifying ways to manage a transition to a low-carbon economy. Saliem has previously served as senior lecturer at the Department of Public Administration and Planning and Associate Director for the Center for Renewable and Sustainable Energy at the University of Stellenbosch, where he taught a course on renewable energy policy and financing of renewable energy projects.

He has also previously worked for Lereko Energy (Pty) Ltd (2006), an investment company focusing on project development and financial arrangements for renewable energy, biofuels, waste and water sectors. He also served as Director of the World Conservation Union South Africa (IUCN-SA) office for eight years (1998-2005). Prior to the IUCN he was the Manager for the Natural Resources and Management Unit at the Land and Agriculture Policy Center.

Saliem served on a number of Boards. Between, 2002-2005, he served as a chair of the Board of the National Botanical Institute. He also served on the board of the Fair Trade in Tourism Initiative, and was a member of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Global Reporting Initiative, based in Amsterdam. He currently serves on Boards of GreenCape, Fair-Trade Label South Africa, Center for Renewable and Energy Studies, and Center for Environmental Rights.

He is a regular columnist for the South African Center for Civil Society and Engineering News.

Saliem received a Senior Executive Management course at Harvard University in 2000, a Master's in Environmental Science from Wye College, London, and a B.Sc. with honours in molecular biology from WITS.