Minister of Natural and Energy Resources Gwede Mantashe.
- Companies have been invited to reprocess and collect seismic data off the South African coast and inland.
- The state will own the data and sell it to investors interested in certain “open spaces.”
- The invitation comes in anticipation of the passage of the Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill.
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The Minister for Natural Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, has tabled proposals to reprocess and collect seismic data off the coast of South Africa.
The invitation, published in the State Gazette on Friday, has invited interested parties to submit proposals to the Petroleum Agency SA (PASA) to “carry out seismic survey, seismic reprocessing and/or gather other geophysical, geological or geochemical data off southern coast of Africa.” “.
The call for proposals comes as South Africa prepares to release “open land” in licensing rounds following passage of the Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill, which is currently before Parliament.
It also comes as opposition to fossil fuel exploration and production is growing and, in some cases, has managed to thwart projects – as was the case with Shell’s planned seismic surveys off the Wild Coast and Searcher off the West Coast .
“While committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and acknowledging the sensitivities related to marine seismic acquisitions in the country, it remains state policy and the South African government’s desire to develop the country’s indigenous natural gas and oil resources to address the.” to ensure national energy security and stability and economic development,” Mantash’s invitation read.
“South Africa is thus on a clear path to respond to national development needs by exploring, discovering, quantifying and developing its domestic petroleum resources in an environmentally sound and responsible manner.”
Some of the identified open areas that are billed to be released through licensing rounds are mature in terms of data coverage and are considered ready for immediate release. However, other areas “could benefit from reprocessing old data or collecting more data before release,” the invite added.
Other data collection studies such as gravity and magnetic surveys, geochemical surveys, Controlled Source Electromagnetic (CSEM) studies and satellite slick studies are also considered.
The reprocessed and collected data will be owned by Pasa and sold to companies interested in evaluating the areas concerned. A license framework is used that provides cost recovery mechanisms for the data-producing companies and includes a profit-sharing agreement with regard to data sales.
Two of the three proposed offshore license areas will require new data collection by seismic surveys or alternative methods if proposed.
One area is on the west coast of South Africa, in deep water just off the southwestern Orange Basin. The other area is on the east coast and lies on the southern extent of the Durban Basin, the northern Transkei wave and the deep water valley of Natal.
In order to collect data in both areas, a company must have an exploration permit and an environmental impact assessment.
The third proposed license area, the western Bredasdorp Basin and Infanta Embayment, requires no field work and only enhancement of existing data and does not require an EIA.
Interested parties were also invited to submit proposals for acquiring new 2D land seismic data in the southern part of the Karoo Basin.