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    Thursday, July 4, 2024

    SA’s Petroleum Ministry Partners with AEW 2024 to Drive Investment in Frontier Exploration

    The African Energy Week: Invest in African Energy conference will be held in Cape Town from November 4 to 8. This conference aims to eradicate energy poverty by 2030 by connecting international investors and project developers with African opportunities.


    South Africa stands as a significant frontier for global offshore oil and gas exploration, boasting substantial indicated resources. The nation's offshore gas reserves are estimated at a noteworthy 60 trillion cubic feet (tcf), while onshore shale potential is projected to reach an impressive 390 tcf. Although exploration progress has been gradual, recent developments in mergers and acquisitions, as well as project advancements, hold promise for reversing this trend. These developments pave the way for enhanced energy security through the strategic utilization of oil and gas resources.

    To further attract investment in frontier exploration, the South African Ministry of Mineral and Petroleum Resources has formed a partnership with the African Energy Week (AEW): Invest in African Energy conference for its 2024 edition. This partnership emphasizes the Ministry's dedication to realizing the full potential of the nation's oil and gas resources and will facilitate new agreements across the upstream industry.

    AEW: Invest in African Energy is the platform of choice for project operators, financiers, technology providers and government, and has emerged as the official place to sign deals in African energy. Visit www.AECWeek.com for more information about this exciting event.

    South Africa presents advantageous prospects for frontier oil and gas companies due to its shared acreage with neighboring Namibia, where significant discoveries occurred between 2022 and 2024. To capitalize on potential shared resources, several prominent global energy companies and independent exploration and production companies have acquired interests in the South African Orange Basin in recent months. Notably, TotalEnergies and QatarEnergy secured participating interests in Block 3B/4B, with TotalEnergies holding a 33% stake and QatarEnergy acquiring a 24% share. TotalEnergies successfully made two discoveries, Venus-1 in 2022 and Mangetti-1X in 2024, in Namibia.

    Likewise, independent energy company Eco Atlantic has entered into a farm-in agreement with energy company Tosaco Energy for a 75% working interest in Block 1 in the Orange Basin. Block 1 already possesses extensive 2D and 3D seismic data, with the company planning to interpret and analyze existing data-sets within the next three years. The block is considered highly prospective given its proximity to Namibia’s Kudu field. These acquisitions are poised to transform the South African energy market as they represent a critical step towards unlocking South African offshore oil and gas.

    In the meantime, South Africa's hydrocarbon potential extends into interior basins, with the country's shale formations in the Karoo Basin presenting lucrative prospects for power generation and LPG. While seismic surveys are still necessary to ascertain the full scope of the area's potential, indicated resources highlight trillion-cubic-feet opportunities for companies. Various oil and gas players are already taking steps to develop this potential. Panoro Energy, an independent E&P company, submitted an application for an exploration right for helium and natural gas in the Karoo Basin in June 2024. The application entails a three-year work program and will yield a data set that supports future exploration activities.

    Furthermore, Kinetiko Energy, a gas exploration company, has recently secured $2.2 million in funding for a five-well gas flow testing program in the Mpumalanga province. Scheduled to commence in the third quarter of 2024, this program is designed to identify high-flow rate gas zones within exploration rights 271 and 270. The results obtained from this initiative will subsequently enable the company to apply for potential increases in resource and reserves certifications.

    “Despite being Africa’s most industrialized nation, South Africa continues to grapple with an energy crisis – a crisis which can be alleviated through the development and monetization of oil and gas. The country should not have to rely on imports to sustain its economy but should be able to develop and utilize its own resources to drive sustainable growth. Close proximity to sizeable discoveries in Namibia, an expansive coastline with undeveloped blocks and growing consumer demand make the country a highly strategic market and investors should seize this opportunity,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.

    President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa recently renamed the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy to the Ministry of Mineral and Petroleum Resources in a cabinet announcement. The new ministry, therefore, will be centered on maximizing hydrocarbon and mineral resources extraction and conversion with respect of oil resources agenda in the country. Through strategic partnership between AEW: Invest in African Energy, the ministry plans to host global investors, project developers, exploration and production companies to review oil and gas investment opportunities within South Africa. This collaboration reflects South Africa's commitment to addressing its energy problems by developing its oil- gas deposits hence ensuring prospecting promotion for blocks/ partnerships/capacity building efforts as well as future developments.

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