Province involved in Partnership for Sea on Shale Gas Exploration

DECEMBER 2, 2014

The Eastern Cape, as one of the provinces on which shale gas exploration will have an impact, is part of a partnership with the national departments of Environmental Affairs and Water and Sanitation in initiating a strategic environmental assessment (SEA).

The Department of Environmental Affairs said in a recent presentation that the SEA would aim “to identify areas which would be sensitive to shale gas exploration”.

From this it would then be able “to identify the management measures to apply should shale gas exploration and production be considered”.

Environmental Affairs points out that all applications for the exploration of shale gas will be subject to environmental authorisation in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA).

It adds that as part of the requirements for securing authorisation, an assessment would need to be done, “which would identify the expected environmental impacts and would propose mitigation measures”.

The implementation date for the EIA regulations is December 8 this year after which all exploration activities will be subject to NEMA environmental authorisation requirements.

Challenger Energy, the Australian company whose subsidiary Bundu Gas and Oil Exploration is seeking an exploration license, has announced that it has raised about R10 million in a private placement.

It said in a statement that the funds would be used “to support the company's ongoing activities as it progresses its license the Karoo Basin”. - MetroMinutes.