Oil and gas Gas finds off the Southern Cape coast have vast potential. SECTOR INSIGHT The Chevron refinery produces petrol, diesel, jet fuel and liquefied gas.
n 2019 Total and its partners created a stir with the announcement that gas condensate had been found at a site called Brulpadda off the coast of Mossel Bay. In 2020, the nearby Luiperd prospect in Block 11B/12B delivered more exciting news. The block, in the Outeniqua Basin 175km off the southern coast, covers an area of about 19 000km² in water depths of 200-1 800m. The exploration was done by the semi-submersible rig Deepsea Stavanger, which journeyed twice from Norway to lead the exploration projects. The two finds raise the odds of Total investing in what it calls a “world-class” offshore gas site. The drilling campaign employed 195 WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2021
South Africans with specialist skills but the potential spinoff is enormous for the Western Cape and South Africa, if the find leads to drilling and commercialisation. If Total goes ahead, the PetroSA GTL refinery at Mossel Bay (Mossgas) could be revived and the idea of creating a gas market in South Africa would get a massive boost. Commissioned in 1992 as the world’s first gas-to-liquids (GTL) refinery, Mossgas was due to close in 2020, because, as President Ramaphosa announced, it had practically run out of feedstock. PetroSA is South Africa’s national oil company. Petroleum Agency South Africa (PASA), which encourages exploration and regulates the oil and gas industry, has noted the significance of international oil companies committing to exploration off South Africa’s coast. Increased confidence by such companies can only lead to growth in the industry, and with the massive gas finds in the Rovuma Basin off Mozambique in 2020, there are sure to be more companies interested in South Africa’s potential. In addition to adjudicating on coastal fields,