South Africa’s oil-industry regulator expects Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd. and Bundu Oil & Gas Exploration Pty Ltd. to submit updated applications next month for licenses to explore for shale gas in the semi-desert Karoo region.
“We are expecting to receive revised” environmental-management programs from Falcon and Bundu at the end of February, the Cape Town-based Petroleum Agency SA said in an e- mailed response to questions. “It is expected that a decision by the minister will be made at the end of July or latest August.”
Falcon, Bundu and Royal Dutch Shell Plc are among the companies applying to explore the Karoo as South Africa seeks to tap as much as 390 trillion cubic feet of shale gas. The Petroleum Agency, known as PASA, asked companies to remove references to hydraulic fracturing from their applications so they can be processed while relevant legislation is prepared.
Falcon, a Dublin-based company that signed a five-year cooperation agreement with Chevron Corp. in 2012, didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment. Calls to the offices of Bundu, owned by Melbourne-based Challenger Energy, weren’t immediately answered. Dineo Pooe, a spokeswoman for Shell, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
The South African government on Oct. 16 published proposed regulations for hydraulic fracturing, after a 17-month moratorium on shale-gas exploration ended in September 2012.
The regulator said it hasn’t received any new shale gas applications.