South Africa to grant exploration licences for Karoo gas fields

oilThe government estimates that a small part of the Karoo shale gas fields could meet about half of South Africa’s electricity needs for next 20 years. (Image source: Nancy/Flickr)South Africa has announced that the country will grant licences to oil companies to begin exploration at the shale gas fields in Karoo from July 2015

Jeremy Wakeford, chairperson of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil South Africa, said that the falling global energy prices have put oil companies under pressure to rethink investments but exploratory drilling in the Karoo is expected to go ahead.

“Timelines presented by the department of mineral resources to the National Council of Provinces in October 2014 indicate that the regulations for shale gas exploration will be published in the Government Gazette in February 2015. Exploration licences would then be granted from July 2015 and exploration could commence immediately thereafter,” added Wakeford.

In 2013, the EIA estimated that there were 1.37 trillion cu/m of shale gas reserves in South Africa. Shale gas would mainly be used to produce electricity and not fuel, said Wakeford.


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