JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The Petroleum Agency of South Africa (Pasa) has advised unconventional gas explorer Challenger Energy’s Bundu Gas and Oil Exploration subsidiary that a decision has been taken to proceed with processing Bundu’s application for a shale gas exploration right in South Africa’s Karoo basin.
Challenger said on Monday that “significant” time had elapsed since the application was submitted in 2010, and it was important that the documentation was up to date.
Pasa has requested that Bundu review and augment its environmental management programme, where necessary, completing this process by February 27, 2015.
In accordance with the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, Bundu was required to notify and consult with affected communities and parties in respect of any such revisions.
“This is very significant and positive news. The applications for shale gas exploration rights have been on hold since 2011, so the decision to proceed with the processing of Bundu’s application represents a major milestone and signals that the South African government is ready to move forward with the exploration and appraisal of this potentially vital national resource.
“We are greatly encouraged by this development, and look forward to engaging with local communities and stakeholders,” commented Challenger MD Robert Willes.