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This report focuses on the extraction and manufacture of gases, notably the production of gaseous fuels, as well as the distribution of gases via a system of pipelines to household, industrial, commercial or other users. Although natural gas comprised little more than 3% of South Africa’s total primary energy consumption in 2012, the tide is turning, with stakeholders venturing to predict that the country is entering the ‘Golden Age of Gas.’
The potential of shale gas is widely viewed as a ‘game-changer’ in South Africa, with Government affirming the potential of the gas industry to provide energy security for the country, while boosting the local economy through job creation, direct investment and business development. Delivering the opening address at the African Mining Indaba that was held in Cape Town in February 2014, Mineral Resources Minister, Susan Shabangu, confirmed that South Africa would “move ahead decisively, yet responsibly with the exploration of shale gas.” However, the passing of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill by the National Assembly on 12 March 2014, has elicited a robust response from South Africa’s opposition parties, which warn that the new legislation effectively allows for the nationalisation of South Africa’s oil and gas resources. Industry has also voiced concern, with the Offshore Petroleum Association of South Africa (OPASA) warning that the legislation will have a “chilling effect” on South Africa’s fledgling oil and gas sector.
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