Policy delay slows oil and gas exploration

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A HUSH has fallen over South Africa’s oil and gas exploration sector as a plummeting oil price has coincided with lack of progress in creating attractive legislation for the oil and gas sector.

But industry insiders say there has been no large-scale exit by the oil majors from SA onshore and offshore. Explorers are continuing with desktop studies while legislation is being prepared.

Brent crude oil for September settlement was at $57.14 a barrel on Friday, compared with $106 per barrel a year ago.

For the past six months, proposed amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act have been on hold. The amendments included provisions on oil and gas, such as a 20% state free carry and no cap on the state’s ability to buy a greater stake at an agreed price.

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