Assessing the Sustainability of Legal and Regulatory Regimes Governing South Africa’s Oil and Gas Sector: Lessons from Norway and the United Kingdom


This paper aims to review and examine South Africa’s current legal and regulatory frameworks governing its petroleum industry. The emerging oil and gas industry in South Africa offers an attractive investment opportunity to both foreign direct investment and domestic investment via the National Oil and Gas Company, PetroSA. However, compared to many other countries such as Kenya, Namibia amongst others, it has high reserves since petroleum reserves are so unevenly distributed globally. As South Africa’s oil and gas industry grows as illustrated by the Master Gas Plan 2022, the country’s legal and regulatory environment is poised to improve in an effort to attract and retain further domestic and foreign direct investment. South Africa’s Gas Master Plan was launched by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) – which was created as a policy tool tasked with guiding the country’s gas development. Additionally, this paper draws parallels between the legal and regulatory frameworks employed by Norway and the United Kingdom. Lastly, this paper further expounds on the lessons that could be drawn from the aforementioned jurisdictions in an attempt to spur the sustainable extraction of oil and gas in South Africa through stable legal and regulatory frameworks.

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