A science action plan to help steer the South African shale gas industry will be considered at a national shale gas conference to be hosted by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology, in Port Elizabeth, later this week.
The conference follows the publication, in October 2016, of the ASSAf report on South Africa’s technical readiness to support the shale gas industry.
In addition to the ASSAf report, the Department of Environmental Affairs’ report on shale gas development in the central Karoo will also be discussed.
The objective of the conference is to showcase critical reports on shale gas in South Africa, analyse the regulatory environment, consolidate common findings and recommendations and provide a platform for debate.
“Recommendations in the ASSAf report highlight the need for several baseline studies to improve the current understanding of the extent of the shale gas resources and the status of the local environment in which such developments might take place,” ASSAf said in a statement on Monday.
The report concludes that much needs to be done to put in place a clear legislative environment and a rigorous regulatory and monitoring structure that will ensure that operators, in using their exploration and production licences, apply best-practice technologies that are fully compliant with the rules and regulations governing the industry.
The conference will take place from August 31 to September 1.