Bundu Gas and Oil Exploration company, a subsidiary of Australian unconventional gas explorer Challenger Energy, confirmed on Monday that it had submitted an updated environmental management programme (EMP) with the Petroleum Agency South Africa (Pasa) on 27 February 2015.
Bundu will hear if they can go ahead with shale gas explorations in either Q2 or Q3 this year, Creamer media reported.
The South African oil and gas company assigned environmental consultant Golder Associates to fulfil the requirements needed to revise the EMP.
Golder Associates had to approach those communities that would be affected by the shale gas explorations.
The shale gas exploration wells will be located in the southern region of the Karoo basin where there are enough estimated gas deposits to heat 15 million homes in one year, according to the US Department of Energy.
According to Challenger MD Robert Willes, South African mineral resources minister Advocate Ngoako Ramatlhodi has 120 days to decide if Bundu’s EMP will be approved or not.
Willes said: “Challenger anticipates that a decision may be taken on Bundu's exploration right application in the second or third quarter of 2015”.
2015 Budget speech makes provisions for shale gas
South African finance minister Nhlanhla Nene stated in his 2015 budget speech that ZAR108 million ($9 million) will be allocated to “research and regulatory requirements for licensing shale gas exploration and hydraulic fracturing”.
Bundu is one of three firms who applied for shale gas exploration rights in 2010. Shell and Falcon Oil and Gas are among the three companies who applied before the moratorium on exploration was implemented.