THE KAROO – Press release and time frame for shale gas development

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sms_largehttp://www.treasurethekaroo.co.za/news/press-statements
The timeframe for shale gas development in the Karoo, South Africa, was included in the presentation at Parliament in Cape Town by the Department of Mineral Resources to the Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources, (National Council of Provinces) on 28 Oct 2014.

Treasure the Karoo  Action Group  issued a media release after the presentation.

‘INDICATIVE TIMELINE FOR SHALE GAS DEVELOPEMENT

‘Dec 2014/2015 – Consultation on Regulations with communities-
To provide assurance of the government’s action to mitigate/eliminate inherent risks associated with development of shale gas.

Jan 2015 –Publish Regulations in Government Gazette.

Feb to June 2015 – Re-processing of applications and consultation with other relevant authorities-
* Augmentation and assessment of EMP’s
* Consultation with affected communities by applicants.

July/August 2015- Issuing of exploration licenses

Post July 2015 – Commencement of shale gas exploration.’

TKAG Press Release:

TKAG CALLS ON KAROO DWELLERS TO STAND TOGETHER  http://www.treasurethekaroo.co.za/news/press-statements

Treasure Karoo Action Group
Media Release
28 October 2014

Jeanie Le Roux, Director of Operations for Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG) told journalists today that the lobby group was ‘closely monitoring’ the conduct and process of the State in connection with the issuing of regulations on shale gas mining and the processing of exploration licenses. We stand ready, with our alliance partner, AfriForum, to take legal action if it is required.
After a briefing by the Department of Minerals to the Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources today, Le Roux remarked that the Department (of Minerals) appeared uncoordinated and failed to adequately answer a number of questions by committee members. This observation was made by other attendees of the meeting as well.

TKAG is receiving legal advice and was told that some of the recent developments, which include processing of applications, may be in breach of the MPRDA.

A situation, which at the beginning of 2011 appeared to be a virtual ‘slam-dunk’ for exploration licenses has developed fully four years later into an approach that is a little bit more measured and careful. Several legislative hurdles and a general lack of clarity remain unresolved. “Royal Dutch Shell and other applicants have been compelled to revise their plans a number of times over 4 years, and still have to satisfy a plethora of legal and operational hurdles, said Le Roux. “TKAG, as a mandated representative of thousands of South Africans is still not satisfied with the level of scientific [and economic] analysis of fracking, nor of the ability of the government to control mining and enforce mining laws in general, especially with regards to shale gas, although we believe that there have been slight improvements compared to what the situation was like four years ago.”

Le Roux said that the public, including directly affected farmers may now have another opportunity to engage with applicants and the state prior to the issue of regulations and licenses for exploration. “TKAG encourages all persons who may consider themselves to be interested and or affected parties to make good use of the forthcoming consultations and environmental impact assessments. Get informed, pitch up and make yourself heard,” she urged. “TKAG has researched shale gas for 4 years and all of our information is available.”

“Companies and those with a financial interest in seeing a development proceed will logically try to make things sound and look as attractive as possible. Le Roux cautioned farmers not to permit oil companies to control access to the land on which they sought to operate, saying that “Oil and Gas companies in America use every trick that they can to keep media and environmentalists away from fracking operations. Do not sign an agreement that allows and oil company to stop you and your visitors moving around on your own land. Get sound legal advice before signing any deals or agreements”

“As part of our operations TKAG intends to document a range of conditions before and after fracking takes place in areas where companies intend to explore and potentially frack. Through this South Africa will be able to determine whether or not the promises of the applicants and government will have been fulfilled.”

TKAG is a small non-profit organization that requires financial support from the public to ensure accountability in the discourse on shale gas.

/ENDS

Jonathan Deal
CEO
076 838 5150
023 358 9903
Jonathan.deal@treasurethekaroo.co.za

Jeanie le Roux
Director of Operations
072 959 1818
research@treasurethekaroo.co.za

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Rules on fracking in Karoo to be published in January

http://www.bdlive.co.za/business/energy/2014/10/28/rules-on-fracking-in-karoo-to-be-published-in-january

SA Govt kicks on with Karoo shale gas permits

http://www.miningmx.com/page/news/energy/1647139-SA-Govt-kicks-on-with-Karoo-shale-gas-permits#.VE81dulxmM9

Pasa to process Karoo shale gas exploration application

http://www.miningweekly.com/article/pasa-to-process-karoo-shale-gas-exploration-application-2014-10-27
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Parliamentary meeting on fracking tomorrow in Cape Town (open to public):
TUESDAY, 28 OCTOBER 2014
Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the Department of Mineral Resources on the timelines for Hydrological fracturing prospecting/ exploration, including the sites earmarked for this initial investigative phase; Consideration and adoption of Minutes], Committee Room V227, Second Floor, Old Assembly Building, 10:00

  1. http://www.miningmx.com/page/news/energy/1647139-SA-Govt-kicks-on-with-Karoo-shale-gas-permits#.VE81dulxmM9

‘SA Govt kicks on with Karoo shale gas permits

David McKay | Mon, 27 Oct 2014 09:04

[miningmx.com] – SOUTH Africa has opened a new chapter in its shale gas aspirations for the Karoo saying it would process Challenger Energy’s exploration licence application – one of a batch to be granted for the ecologically sensitive region.

Notice that the application would be processed had been communicated to Challenger’s local subsidiary, Bundu Gas and Oil Exploration, by the Petroleum Agency SA (PASA), the Perth-based company said in a statement…..’

2. http://www.miningweekly.com/article/pasa-to-process-karoo-shale-gas-exploration-application-2014-10-27

‘Pasa to process Karoo shale gas exploration application

27th October 2014
JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The Petroleum Agency of South Africa (Pasa) has advised unconventional gas explorer Challenger Energy’s Bundu Gas and Oil Exploration subsidiary that a decision has been taken to proceed with processing Bundu’s application for a shale gas exploration right in South Africa’s Karoo basin.

Challenger said on Monday that “significant” time had elapsed since the application was submitted in 2010, and it was important that the documentation was up to date.

Pasa has requested that Bundu review and augment its environmental management programme, where necessary, completing this process by February 27, 2015. …’

 COMMENT BY AN INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGNER

Mining Rights
As far as I know no company has so far received an exploration right in South Africa. The Shale Gas Handbook of Norton Rose Fullbright (http://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/files/norton-rose-fulbright-shale-gas-handbook-108992.pdf) states on page 94, that Shell has lodged already in December 2010 three applications for exploration rights and that they were accepted by PASA on December 13, 2010 and December 14, 2011.
Bundu & Falcon have also lodged applications for exploration rights (in May 2010 & August 2010).

This means, that during all this time Shell, Bundu & Falcon must have had at least a technical co-operation permit. But – according to Mineral and Petroleum Development Act (MPRDA), Chapter 6, Article 77 (4) b), c) and d) – the technical co-operation permit is only valid for a period not exceeding one year, not tranferable and not renewable.
http://www.dmr.gov.za/publications/summary/109-mineral-and-petroleum-resources-development-act-2002/225-mineraland-petroleum-resources-development-actmprda.html

The question is now:
If no company had been granted exploration rights so far and if – which is obvious – the technical co-operation permits are no longer valid, what rights do the companies hold at the moment?

The companies might not even possess valid technical co-operation permits at the moment or the South-African Government have to explain how they can still be valid if – according to the MPRDA – they are only valid for a period not exceeding one year, not tranferable and not renewable. Would you please try to check on these legal matters?