12 September 2011, Sweetcrude, Johannesburg- PetroSA of South Africa could start searching for oil and gas off the country as early as February after applying for exploration rights.
The state-owned entity has applied to explore an area of around 80,000 square kilometres off the Cape coast, the Johannesburg-based Sunday Times reported without identifying the source of its information.
If PetroSA is given the nod by authorities, it could start exploration work near the beginning of next year, the report claimed.
PetroSA is due to submit an environmental plan next week which could take five months to be considered, the newspaper reported.
If any possible seismic surveys produce positive results, the company could begin test drilling in five or six years, it continued.
A PetroSA spokesperson was not reachable for comment on Monday.
PetroSA has built what it terms “the world’s largest and first commercial gas-to-liquids plant” at Mossel Bay in the country.