Decision on Karoo shale gas expected soon – Agri SA

Organisation says matter remains very much alive despite Shell's announcement that it would scale down exploration in SA

Decision on Karoo shale gas expected soon 

24 July 2018

On 11 July 2018 the Department of Mineral Resources published a notice in the Eastern Cape Provincial Gazette calling on all parties to submit written representations thereon to the Petroleum Agency of South Africa (PASA). These parties refer to those whose rights may materially and adversely be affected by the Department’s pending decision on the granting of exploration rights for shale gas to Shell, Bundu and Falcon in the Karoo.

Although the threat of shale gas development in the Karoo appeared to be dissipating with Shell’s announcement earlier this year that it would scaling down its operations regarding shale gas exploration in in South Africa, the matter remains very much alive, as is seen by government’s most recent notice”, says Janse Rabie, Agri SA’s Head of Natural Resources. “Neither Shell, Bundu or Falcon actually withdrew their applications for exploration rights for shale gas in the Karoo and those applications still remain pending.  Once exploration rights are granted, it opens the door to full-scale production rights automatically being granted in due course.” 

Agri SA has consistently maintained that in the absence of sufficient answers by both petro-chemical companies and government as to the availability of sufficient water to support shale gas exploration and production, and adequate answers as to what would be done with contaminated water resulting therefrom, it cannot support shale gas development in the Karoo or elsewhere in South Africa.

Persons who previously forwarded comments or objections or who made written representations on Shell, Bundu and Falcon’s applications for exploration rights in the Karoo in terms of section 10 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 28 of 2002 (MPRDA), are advised in terms of the notice not to do so again, as their comments will be taken into consideration.

Issued by Thea Liebenberg, Media Liaison Officer, Agri SA, 24 July 2018