Cape Town – Altogether five applications from three companies seeking permission to explore for shale gas in the Karoo have been received by government, says Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi.

“Applications were received from Falcon Oil and Gas, Shell Exploration Company, and Bundu Gas and Exploration,” he said in a written reply to a parliamentary question on Thursday.

A detailed assessment of the applications to determine the extent of their compliance with requirements of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) had not been done.

“The MPRDA provides for the minister to grant applications if they comply, and, conversely, the applications must be refused if they do not comply.”

None of the applications had been assessed, he confirmed in the reply, which was signed off on September 23.