SA awaits shale gas assessment outcome

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South Africa has very limited gas reserves and the Department of Energy is awaiting the outcome of the assessment of shale gas potential.

“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,” the department’s Deputy Director General for Hydrocarbon Tseliso Maqubela said on Tuesday.

He was speaking on behalf of Minister Dipuo Peters at the 4th annual Natural Gas Conference.

The department has noted concerns raised related to shale gas, adding that an interdepartmental task team that was looking into the matter, led by the Department of Mineral Resources.

The department noted efforts by the Petroleum Agency of SA (PASA) in the promotion of gas exploration, while the national oil company, PetroSA, was busy with efforts to source gas for its gas-to-liquids facility in Mossel Bay.

“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,” said Maqubela.

South Africa’s IRP2010 energy plan aims to improve the country’s global competitiveness as well as to support job creation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Under the plan, imported gas is expected to make up 6% of all new electricity generation, hydro power 6%, open cycle gas turbines 9%, coal 15% and nuclear 23%.

Maqubela added that collaboration amongst gas industry stakeholders and government was essential to ensuring investment in skills and supplier development.

Additionally, the department is in the process of reviewing the Gas Act 2001, with the regulation of LNG and CNG being addressed as well as improving the gas regulatory framework. – BuaNews

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