The South African government has given the endorsement for shale gas development in its Karoo basin. The endorsement was announced by Mineral Resources Minister, Mosebenzi Zwane during a community engagement on shale gas development in Richmond, in the Northern Cape, Petroleum Africa reported.

“Based on the balance of available scientific evidence, the government took a decision to proceed with the development of shale gas in the Karoo formation of South Africa,”  Zwane stated in a speech.

He noted that the regulatory framework would ensure that shale gas is orderly and safely developed through hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, Mining Weekly informed.

“The finalization of Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) amendments will also help to expedite the development of shale gas” Zwane added.

Successful shale exploration will aid South Africa in adding extra gas resources to its energy mix. While that is considered a positive step, there are still opposing parties behind the shale exploration in the Karoo basin; mainly due to the fracking technology used to access those resources that might have a negative effect on water and the environment within the region.