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South Africa Awaits Shale Gas Assessment Outcome

As South Africa has very limited natural gas reserves, the country’s Department of Energy is awaiting the outcome of an assessment of the nation’s shale gas potential.

South Africa’s Department of Energy Deputy Director General for Hydrocarbon Tseliso Maqubela said at the 4th annual Natural Gas Conference, "The truth that we have to face and effectively deal with is that South Africa has very limited gas reserves. We are awaiting the outcome of the assessment of the shale gas potential, which is currently estimated to be around 485 trillion cubic feet. There are also projects afoot to explore the potential of importing natural gas both as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) to meet our country's energy demands," BuaNews news agency reported.

The Department of Energy has noted environmentalists’ concerns about the controversial hydraulic fracturing technique, also known as “fracking,” used to liberate the natural gas from surrounding rock formations. Maqubela said that an interdepartmental task team was investigating the procedure’s possible impact on the environment, led by the Department of Mineral Resources.

The Department of Energy is in the process of reviewing the 2001 Gas Act, with the regulation of LNG and CNG being reviewed as well as concepts for improving the nation’s natural gas regulatory framework.

By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com

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