SA puts new applications for petroleum exploration on hold

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The Department of Mineral Resources has issued a moratorium on new applications for petroleum exploration and development in order to change its licensing process.
The restriction will not affect applications received before the date of publication of the notice, which appeared in the online version of the government gazette on June 28 and was signed by Mineral and Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe
.
The restriction "is primarily aimed at using licensing as a tool to achieve the transformation ideal" and fast-track exploration, Petroleum Agency SA, the country’s oil and gas regulator, said in a statement cited by the department.
Last year, Royal Dutch Shell relinquished a licence to search for oil off SA due to legislative uncertainty. Other companies with permits in the country’s mostly unexplored offshore have diluted work programmes as they wait for greater clarity.

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