FOCUS: UNCONVENTIONAL OIL & GAS: Industry awaits permission to explore South Africa's Karoo shale gas

With the lifting of a ban on hydraulic fracturing, oil and gas companies hope the South African government will authorize natural gas development in the Karoo basin, which awaits actual exploration for unconventional resources. Chevron Corp. agreed to work with Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd. of Dublin. The joint venture agreement came 3 months after South Africa government officials lifted a temporary ban on shale gas exploration. South Africa imposed the fracing ban in 2011 to address concerns about hydraulic fracturing. Based on recommendations from the Department of Mineral Resources, the government lifted the ban on Sept. 7, 2012. Royal Dutch Shell PLC has forecast it could be 10 years bef...

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