South African anti-fracking groups are threatening a preemptive injunction against exploratory drilling if the nation’s government does not place a moratorium on exploration licenses for the desert region of Karoo within 30 days, Reuters reported.
Last year, Royal Dutch Shell applied for an exploration license covering more than 95,000 square kilometers (59,000 square miles), almost a quarter of the Karoo.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that South Africa has about 390 trillion cubic meters (13.77 trillion cubic feet) of technically recoverable reserves.
Shell has three pending exploration license applications, and Falcon Oil and Gas Ltd. and Bundu Gas & Oil each have one, according to the EIA.
In 2012, Chevron signed a five-year deal with Falcon Oil to explore the southern Karoo Basin.