Despite the government’s demand for the legislation to be accelerated, South Africa’s proposed oil exploration and production laws are unlikely to be made for at least another year.
According to Megan Rodgers, head of oil and gas at legal firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, parliamentary hearings and revisions to the Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill, which was released earlier in June, may take 12 to 18 months.
Two years after Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe highlighted to parliament the need to “speedily work” on regulatory and policy clarity in the industry to attract investment, lawmakers have decided to examine the bill. The resolve came after TotalEnergies SE made two big finds off the coast of South Africa. However, the French explorer halted further drilling in April to finish geotechnical investigations.
South Africa meets its demand for oil from imports and synthetic fuel production. The increase in the value of oil shale resources has made it more crucial than ever to make specific oil laws to ensure the region benefits from revenue being generated.
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