FOCUS Gas discoveries are a boost to the Oceans Economy KwaZulu-Natal stands to benefit from significant finds off the east coast of Africa KwaZulu-Natal’s long coastline already reaps enormous benefits for the economy of the province through its sophisticated port infrastructure, trade opportunities and fishing opportunities but recent gas discoveries off the coasts of Mozambique and South Africa stand to make the benefits of the Oceans Economy very real for the coastal province’s residents. The Oceans Economy is part of the nationallydriven Operation Phakisa, a focused, goaloriented jump-starting of a specific economic sector. Operation Phakisa intends creating a million jobs by 2033 and injecting R177-billion into national GDP. Major steps have been taken in the creation of a South African gas market with two major discoveries off the South African coast near Mossel Bay. Says the CEO of Petroleum Agency SA, Dr Phindile Masangane, “The recent discovery by Total and its JV partners in Block 11B/12B (Brulpadda) is the first giant step in that direction.” Odfjell’s Deepsea Stavanger semisubmersible oil rig relocated from Norway to South Africa in June 2020 to start exploratory drilling at the Brulpadda site. Having found good quantities of light oil and gas condensate at Brulpadda, the team returned in October to drill at another site called Luiperd – and found even more gas reserves. Analysts believe that these two finds could be game-changers for the South African economy as gas currently occupies a tiny part of the country’s energy mix. Early reports suggest that Luiperd might have gas reserves twice as plentiful as the earlier discovery, although they are similar in terms of the liquids’ gas mix. The exploration drilling is in deep waters similar to where the gigantic Mozambique Rovuma Basin gas discoveries were made in 2010. The drilling campaign has long-term benefits to South Africa which include introducing frontier deep-water exploration drilling, building confidence and potentially shifting petroleum exploration activities to private international oil companies (IOCs), derisking deep-water acreage which is believed to be prospective for large oil and gas resources. There is potential for gas to be sent by undersea pipeline to Mossel Bay and to support the country’s switch from coal. “Further development of the discovery is highly dependent on the success of this further drilling,” comments Dr Masangane. “Possible development could see condensate being piped to the PetroSA facility in Mossel Bay,” she adds, “but these decisions are ultimately up to the operator, Total and its partners.” Africa Energy holds a 4.9% effective interest in the Exploration Right for Block 11B/12B. The Company owns 49% of the shares in Main Street 1549 Proprietary Limited, which has a 10% participating interest in the block. Total as operator holds a 45% participating interest in Block 11B/12B, while Qatar Petroleum (25%) and CNR (20%) are the other participants.
FOCUS Petroleum Agency SA: promoting and regulating exploration and production. Petroleum Agency SA evaluates, promotes and regulates oil and gas exploration and production activities in South Africa and archives all relevant geotechnical data. The Agency acts as an advisor to the government and carries out special projects at the request of the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy. South Africa’s energy mix is changing to include more gas through importing liquefied natural gas (LNG), using shale gas if reserves prove commercial, and developing infrastructure for the import of LNG. Petroleum Agency SA plays an important role in developing South Africa’s gas market by attracting qualified and competent companies to explore for gas. Another major focus is increasing the inclusion of historically disadvantaged South Africanowned entities in the upstream industry. Currently, natural gas supplies just 3% of South Africa’s primary energy. A significant challenge facing the development of a major gas market is the dominance of coal. Opportunities for gas lie in the realisation of South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) and the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). As custodian, Petroleum Agency SA ensures that companies applying for gas rights are vetted to make sure they are financially qualified and technically capable, as well having a good environmental track record. Oil and gas exploration requires enormous capital outlay and can represent a risk to workers, communities and the environment. Applicants are therefore required to prove their capabilities and safety record and must carry insurance for environmental rehabilitation. ■ Contact details Telephone: +27 21 938 3500 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.petroleumagency.com PASA’S NEW CEO HAS A BACKGROUND IN ENERGY POLICY AND STRATEGY Dr Phindile Masangane was appointed as the CEO of the South African upstream oil and gas regulatory authority, Petroleum Agency South Africa, in May 2020. Before then, Dr Masangane was an executive at the South African state-owned energy company, CEF (SOC) Ltd, which is the holding company of PASA. Dr Masangane was responsible for clean, renewable and alternative energy projects. In partnership with private companies, she led the development of energy projects including the deal structuring, project economic modelling and financing on behalf of the CEF Group of Companies. Her responsibilities also included supporting the national government in developing energy policy and regulations for diversifying the country’s energy mix. In 2019, Dr Masangane was Head of Strategy for the CEF Group of Companies where she led the development of the group’s long-term strategic plan, Vision 2040+ as well as the group’s gas strategy. From 2010 to 2013, Dr Masangane was a partner and director at KPMG, responsible for the Energy Advisory Division. She successfully led the capital raising of -billion for hydro and coal power plants expansion programmes of the Zimbabwean power utility, ZESA/ZPC. An alumnus of three universities, Dr Masangane has a BSc (mathematics and chemistry) from the University of Swaziland, a PhD in Chemistry from Imperial College, London and an MBA from the University of the Witwatersrand. ■