April 29, 2011 / 11:36 AM / 8 years ago

S.Africa to decide on shale gas bids after study

JOHANNESBURG, April 29 (Reuters) - South Africa’s government will neither accept new applications nor finalise current bids for shale gas exploration until its own feasibility study on the matter is finalised, the department of minerals said on Friday.

“Given the intensity and scale of the issue and the fact that this (shale gas exploration) has never been done before in our shores, my department will conduct a comprehensive study which will assist us to formulate our approach after which we will go back to cabinet,” Minerals Minister Susan Shabangu said in a statement.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) is one of the companies facing opposition to its plans to seek shale gas in South Africa’s semi-desert Karoo region, as farmers fear methods used to extract it will contaminate water and harm the environment. (Reporting by Agnieszka Flak)

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