South African Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe on Thursday confirmed that the country will introduce new oil and gas laws in 2019.
The oil and gas sector currently has a moratorium in place to allow for the processing of applications in the system. It restricts the granting of applications for technical cooperation permits, exploration rights and production rights, until a notice of invitation for applications is published, as reported by Mining Weekly.
“We want to accelerate investment and boost investor confidence in the economy. The amendment will ensure that applications currently in our system are processed and granted,” Mantashe said in Cape Town, adding that exploration cannot be delayed.
The process of approval of exploration applications will be completed under the current mineral and petroleum law.
Mantashe, meanwhile, welcomed the commitment of oil and gas major Total to resume deepwater exploration drilling operations. “We welcome the commitment by petroleum giant Total and its partners, which affirms confidence in South Africa as an investment destination for exploration of oil and gas.”