South Africa: Investors Are Knocking, but Can They Come In?

analysis

The recent gas find off the coast of Mossel Bay is the biggest thing to happen to the South African economy since the discovery of gold. Whether it will be a blessing or a curse depends on the promulgation of legislation that attracts rather than deters investors. Until there is certainty, investors will sit on their hands.

The Brulpadda gas find off the coast of South Africa, announced by Total E&P SA in February 2019, is among the top 10 most exciting gas finds in the world, and has reignited interest in South Africa as a prospecting destination.

The find is reported to contain around one billion barrels of oil equivalent, but it is early days and much remains unknown. That it's exciting is a given considering this week the license holder commissioned further seismic research in the area and is preparing to drill new wells in 2020.

"The oil majors are all on the hunt for a new frontier in oil and gas exploration and this is definitely classed as a new frontier," says Jon Lawrence, an oil and gas analyst with energy research firm Wood Mackenzie.

Mozambique is another frontier, he says, and interest in South Africa's offshore...

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