The Petroleum Agency SA (Pasa) has reviewed feedback from public consultations and scientific reports on shale gas and is on the verge of making recommendations on granting exploration licences, David van der Spuy, the agency’s manager for resource evaluation, says. Exploration for shale gas in the Karoo, which would involve hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is contentious because concerns about environmental damage are being weighed against the potential economic benefits. Van der Spuy told a South African Oil and Gas Alliance event on Tuesday that Pasa had updated the estimate of SA’s potential shale gas resource to 201-trillion cubic feet. Mossgas operated for decades on a 1-trillion cubic feet resource. The moratorium on granting new shale gas exploration permits remained in place and the first three permits granted to previous applicants Shell, Falcon and Bundu did not permit hydraulic fracking, he said. Those permits only allowed seismic and exploratory drilling. Asked what o...

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