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A science action plan to help steer the South African shale gas industry will be considered at a national conference entitled The Shale Gas Industry in South Africa: Toward a Science Action Plan hosted by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), from 31 August to 1 September 2017. 

The conference follows the publication in October last year of the ASSAf report on South Africa’s Technical Readiness to support the Shale Gas Industry. In addition to the ASSAf report, the Department of Environmental Affairs report on Shale Gas Development in the Central Karoo: A Scientific Assessment of the Opportunities and Risks will also be highlighted.

The objective of the conference is to showcase critical national reports on shale gas in South Africa; analyse the regulatory environment; and consolidate common findings and recommendations and provide a platform for debate.

The conference will be held in Port Elizabeth and is expected to be attended by some 150 key stakeholders from government, industry and academia. African and international delegates will also attend the conference.

The opening address will be delivered by Dr Phil Mjwara, Director-General of the Department of Science and Technology.

Recommendations in the ASSAf report highlight the need for several baseline studies to improve the current understanding of the extent of the shale gas resources and the status of the local environment in which such developments might take place.

The report concludes that much needs to be done to put in place a clear legislative environment and a rigorous regulatory and monitoring structure which will ensure that operators, in using their exploration and production licences, apply best-practice technologies that are fully compliant with the rules and regulations governing the industry. It states that decision-making processes on whether or not to proceed with the development of a shale gas industry must be based on robust and peer-reviewed evidence.

Date: 31 August to 1 September 2017
Venue: Boardwalk Conference Centre, Port Elizabeth

NOTE Programme is available on: http://www.assaf.org.za/files/ASSAf%20news/Shale%20Gas%20Conference%20Programme.pdf
Links to the publications: South Africa’s Technical Readiness to support the Shale Gas Industry                         
Shale Gas Development in the Central Karoo: A Scientific Assessment of the Opportunities and Risks                       

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