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Limpopo Business 2021-22

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The 2021/22 edition of Limpopo Business is the 13th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2007, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Limpopo Province. Limpopo has been attracting significant investments in the mining sector in recent years and with commodity prices of certain minerals rising in response to demand in the renewable energy and automotive sector, mining houses are well-positioned to expand production even further. This journal carries messages of welcome to investors from the province’s Premier and the MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism. In addition to the regular articles providing insight into each of the key economic sectors of the province, there is special feature on plans to catalyse investment and growth in the province through measures such as industrial parks and the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone in the province’s far north, which is attracting billions of dollars in investment. News related to mining, agriculture, tourism, construction and property, water, education and development finance is carried in overviews of the main economic sectors.

FOCUS Petroleum Agency

FOCUS Petroleum Agency South Africa aims to spark a new era New rights issues and massive gas finds could be transformative for the oil and gas sector. Dr Phindile Masangane, the CEO of the Petroleum Agency South Africa (PASA), is not only a passionate scientist by training but she is also just as enthusiastic about the role the organisation can play in actively engaging with investors to spark a new era in development with multiple spin-offs for local job creation and economic growth. PASA is tasked by the government to be the country’s custodian of its oil and gas rights. Dr Masangane says PASA has recently adopted a new five-year strategy and it has identified five new objectives to enable it to effectively deliver on its mandate by “capturing the opportunities being presented by the changes in the environment as well as ensure that the Agency overcomes the challenges that its faces”. She detailed these initiatives as: • increasing exploration activity, to move the industry from a predominately exploration phase to development and production phase • improve sustainability to ensure the company has sufficient financial and human resources to carry out its responsibilities • advocacy to provide input into policy and regulations • digital transformation to adopt new, more efficient technologies • operational excellence, to ensure efficiency of its processes. “These five strategic objectives will position the Agency as a strategic entity of government in its goal of diversifying the energy mix and developing the domestic gas market, embracing digitisation and automation to improve efficiency, rising to the requirements of the new legislation and finding a place in the global transition towards a low-carbon future,” says Dr Masangane. She says PASA’s new value statement remains unchanged. “We have, however, recently reconsidered a further aspect of value, that of value representation and creation. PASA delivers value to its shareholders and stakeholders. This value is created for all South Africans, for oil and gas companies investing in opportunities and for our stakeholders. “PASA has been restructured internally in line with the new strategy. IT has been elevated beyond its former role as a support function to drive the company’s digital transformation. In addition, the Agency will now have a communications and stakeholder engagement function to respond to the negative perception about the oil and gas industry. “The transition to cleaner fuels and renewables is inevitable if the world is to reduce the negative impact of climate change. Government policy is to diversify the country’s energy mix which is currently coal-dominated to a lower-carbon future by introducing proportionately higher renewable energy resources such as wind and solar as well as gas-to-power. Gas burns with less than half the CO2 emissions from coal and has no SOx emissions. It is thus a suitable transition fuel towards a lowercarbon economy for South Africa.” World-class discoveries Dr Masangane says the two recent world-class discoveries off the South Coast “place South Africa in pole position to be a notable gas-producing country. Once indigenous gas becomes available, it becomes LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2021/22 42

" " Mafikeng " " " " " " Molteno " Klerksdorp " " Welkom " Virginia " " Aliwal North " " Queenstown " " " Kroonstad " " Indwe " " Maseru " " " " Lephalale " " " Elliot " " " Maclear " Modimolle " Bela-Bela " " Bethlehem " Frankfort " " " Evander Umtata " Mokopane " " " " Witbank " " Secunda Standerton " Harrismith " Polokwane " " " Tshipise " " Makhado " " Ermelo Volksrust " " " Newcastle Estcourt " " Musina " Dannhauser " Utrecht " Pietermaritzburg " " " " Vryheid Port Shepstone " " Phalaborwa " Mbabane " Pafuri Nongoma " " " Richards Bay St. Lucia " Locality much easier for the domestic gas market to develop, including beneficiation of the gas to chemicals. “The Brulpadda and Luiperd discoveries of gas and condensate are the largest hydrocarbon discoveries made in South Africa to date,” she says. “These results are for only two drilled prospects in the Paddavissie feature where three further prospects remain to be drilled. There could be sufficient gas to feed the Mossel Bay plant at full capacity for more than 40 years.” Dr Masangane also details the country’s various onshore exploration opportunities. “Onshore exploration opportunities are represented by unconventional resources such as shale gas in the south-central Karoo, coalbed methane in the coalfields of the east and northern sectors of the country and biogenic gas in the Virginia and Evander regions. However, geological analysis is showing that there may well be significant potential for conventional oil and gas resources onshore.” Conducive investment environment PASA continues with its programme of promoting investment opportunities at local and international oil and gas conferences and exhibitions. “South Africa has a history of political stability; the new administration is widely regarded as business friendly and the new UPRD bill [Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill] will assist the Agency in expediting exploration through close management of acreage allocation and work programmes. These positive factors create a conducive environment for PASA to pursue its mandate of attracting investment into the upstream petroleum industry. “The draft bill provides greater policy certainty and a stable environment for investment in the South African oil and gas sector. It provides security of tenure by combining the rights for the exploration, development and production phase under one permit.” 21 exploration rights As far as the issuing of exploration rights over the last 18 months is concerned, a total of 21 exploration rights for both Coal Field SOUTH Gas discovery Provincial boundary Karoo Basins Northern Cape AFRICA North West Free State Eastern Cape Bloemfontein LEPHALALE BASIN Waterberg Free State Figure 32. Distribution of coal fields in the Karoo-aged basins in South Africa (digital geological data sourced from Council for Geoscience) Coal-based methane could be sourced from several areas in Limpopo. Credit: PASA, with digital geological data sourced from the Council for Geoscience. onshore and offshore were issued during this period, including renewals and new exploration rights. “As of December 2020, there is no longer a moratorium on applications for rights onshore, other than those for shale gas in a specified area covering the central Karoo. Other onshore applications continue to be received and processed in terms of the MPRDA. The moratorium for shale gas rights and new offshore applications remains in place and is expected to be lifted with the enactment of the hydraulic fracturing regulations (for environmental management and water use) for the shale gas extraction technologies.” Dr Masangane is not just optimistic about attracting future investors, she also highlights the existing interest in South Africa’s oil and gas resources. “You need only take a look at our exploration map on our website. You will see international companies such as Total, Shell, ENI, Kosmos, Africa Energy Corporation, Azinam, Impact Oil and Gas, CNR, Qatar Petroleum and New Age among others all hold interests in exploration acreage.” ■ Pretoria Johannesburg Gauteng MAIN KAROO BASIN Molteno Lesotho TULI BASIN Tuli Mopane Limpopo SPRINGBOK FLATS BASIN Springbok Flats Witbank Highveld Tshipise TSHIPISE BASIN Ermelo Utrecht Klip Rivier Pafuri KwaZulu-Natal Mpumalanga Kangwane Swaziland Vryheid Nongoma Somkele Durban 34 DR PHINDILE MASANGANE, THE CEO OF THE PETROLEUM AGENCY SOUTH AFRICA (PASA)

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