The Petroleum Agency of South Africa (Pasa) has notified TSX-V- and Aim-listed energy explorer Falcon Oil & Gas of its decision to proceed with the processing of the company's application for a shale gas exploration licence in South Africa's Karoo basin.
Falcon said in a statement on Monday the country’s Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) had last week informed members of South Africa's Parliament that the government was soon expected to issue companies with licences to explore for shale gas.
DMR director-general Dr Thibedi Ramontja said it was expected that technical regulations, pertaining to hydraulic fracturing, would be gazetted by the country's government at the end of January 2015, after a final round of public consultation.
Pasa had requested Falcon to review and update its already drafted environmental management programme where necessary. According to the South African Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 2002, Falcon would be required to notify and consult with communities and parties regarding any revisions to the environmental management programme.
Falcon explained that it was given a deadline to complete this process by February 27, 2015.
The company was granted a technical cooperation permit (TCP) in 2009, covering 30 327 km2 in the southern part of the Karoo basin. The TCP gave Falcon an exclusive right to an exploration licence to find commercial hydrocarbon deposits over all, or part of, this area.
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