Sasol is keen to invest in South Africa’s shale gas industry once it gets going, the petrochemical group’s CEO David Constable said.

The move could challenge major oil player Royal Dutch Shell, which is reportedly one of the front runners to explore the Karoo area for shale gas.

Fracking in the Karoo could unlock one of the world’s biggest gas reserves and the government is keen to development the industry, as it views it as a potential game changer for the country’s economy.

In late 2013, the government lifted its moratorium on fracking in the Karoo but also imposed new regulations to govern shale gas exploration.

“I am very excited because of the technologies we can bring to the table. We’ve got shale gas upstream experience in British Columbia,” Sasol chief executive David Constable said in a Fin24 report.

“We want to get involved and participate and monetize that gas in country with gas to liquid, gas to power, gas to chemicals,” he said.

Constable said that Sasol’s experience in British Columbia would enable it to frack the Karoo in “an environmentally friendly fashion.”