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BHP Will Join New Oil-Gas Explorers in South Africa

May 24, 2010
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Reuters reports BHP Billiton, the world''s biggest diversified miner, plans to drill for gas off South Africa''s west coast and will get exploration permits by August, an official said. Africa''s largest economy is a net importer of crude and refined oil products and unlike the continent''s top oil producers Nigeria and Angola, South Africa has limited proven hydrocarbon reserves. The permits would allow BHP to take part in exploration, currently being pursued by companies such Anglo Operations Ltd, a unit of Anglo American, and oil major Royal Dutch Shell. Billiton owns 90 percent of Block 3B/4B. Under South Africa''s mining laws, the government has taken over as custodian of mineral rights, and all companies must reapply for mining and prospecting licenses.
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