In South Africa companies who want to explore for shale gas received a little clarification from the country’s water and environmental ministry on just what it will take. Water and environmental minister, Edna Molewa, said that companies looking for shale gas exploration permits must also apply for a water usage license.
South Africa has seen a substantial amount of interest in its shale resources from companies such as Falcon Oil & Gas and Shell; however, concerns over the impact of fraccing have held back the government in some instances from giving firms the green light.
The government, in 2012, lifted its moratorium on shale gas exploration in its Karoo Basin which sent environmentalists on the war path as they were concerned that fraccing could pollute water supplies.
“I have taken the decision to issue a notice of intention to declare fraccing a controlled activity in terms of the National Water Act … What this means is that fraccing becomes a water use, thus requiring a water use license,” water minister Molewa told journalists.