SA offshore gas find could yield 1 billion barrels, says Total

Total opens new petroleum play off the coast of South Africa

French oil company Total SA announced the world-class discovery on Thursday.

The Brulpadda find, estimated at about 1 billion barrels by its operator Total ASA, could be enough to supply South Africa's refineries for nearly four years.

"It is gas condensate and light oil".

Total has a 45 percent working interest in Block 11b/12B, Qatar Petroleum holds 25 percent, CNR International 20 percent and Main Street, a South African consortium, 10 percent.

"We are extremely encouraged by the report this morning about the Brulpadda block in the Outeniqua Basin, which some have described as a catalytic find", Ramaphosa said during his State of the Nation Address.

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Environmental rights' group Greenpeace said on Friday that the discovery of more fossil fuels off the coast of South Africa was not a cause for celebration.

"It is potentially a major boost for the economy", mineral resources minister Gwede Manthashe said in a statement.

Mr. Ramaphosa, who took office last year after the resignation of his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, has been focused on an ambitious investment drive with the goal of luring US$100-billion in investment over the next five years. "This country is blessed with some of the best renewable energy resources in the world; it's time to back renewable energy and stop the reckless and unsafe dash for fossil fuels".

Following the success of Brulpadda and confirmation of the play's potential, Total and its partners plan to acquire three-dimensional seismic surveys this year, followed by the drilling of up to four exploration wells on this licence. "There's nothing that has been on this kind of scale". But it cautions that the operating environment offshore is tough. "Huge waves, the weather isn't very easy". The environmental impacts of deep sea drilling for oil and gas could not be ignored and had little benefit of job creation for South Africans, said Steele. The count was as low as 77 in 2017.

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