In 2014 shale gas also in South Africa

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There are some plans to issue licenses permitting exploration of shale-gas reserves in South Africa. Reserves, which are located in the semi-arid Karoo region, are scheduled to exploit in the first quarter of 2014. The country published proposed regulations for hydraulic fracturing on Oct. 15, a year after lifting a ban on the drilling process known as fracking, as it seeks to tap as much as 485 trillion cubic feet of resources in the semi-arid Karoo region. The draft rules require drillers to meet American Petroleum Institute standards governing the type of equipment used and the disclosure of chemicals. The move to pursue exploration follows a shale boom in the U.S., while diverging from policy in France, the Netherlands and Bulgaria where fracking has been restricted or banned in response to public protests.
Royal Dutch Shell and other explorers have applied for permits to explore the Karoo. South Africa, which imports 70 percent of its crude-oil needs, also wants to reduce its heavy dependence on coal usage, which emits greenhouse gases linked to climate change.

Close to 90 percent of the country’s power supply comes from coal-fueled plants. Exploration of shale gas may generate 1 trillion rand ($100 billion) of sales within three decades, helping bring it closer to supplying its own energy demand.

The proposed plans for exploration have been published in South Africa’s government gazette and the public has 30 days in which to comment on them.

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Photos: wikimedia.org; Affarinternazionali.it

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