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New Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill

Messy business

The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy published the Upstream* Petroleum Resources Development Bill 2019, on the 24 of December 2019, for public comment. 

The new Petroleum Resources Development Act heralds major changes to the oil and gas regime. It is a stand-alone act which will govern legislation under which oil and gas exploration and production licences are regulated. The new Petroleum Resources Development Act will be administered by the Department of Minerals and Energy.

Interested and affected parties (our oceans are a public commons and affect us all ) are invited to submit written representations on or before 21 February 2020.
For a copy of the gazette please go to: https://www.gov.za/documents/upstream-petroleum-resources-development-bill-draft-24-dec-2019-0000

*For those unfamiliar with oil and gas industry terminology, the ‘upstream’ sector is also known as the exploration and production sector (offshore and on land) because it encompasses activities related to surveying for, drilling and producing crude oil and natural gas. It involves wells: where to position them; how deep and how far to drill them to deliver the greatest possible return on investment. It is characterised by high risk / high return. We cannot ignore the massive, deliberate and unsustainable effects of the upstream sector to climate change. Other risks include the unpredictability of each well drilled; the pollution of the environment and safety of biowebs and humans involved; being subject to global and host country politics or conflict; global forces of supply and demand; economic growth and recessions; regulations; expropriation or forced divestiture of property. 

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