Oil, gas exploration expected to boost economy

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"If we can discover oil and gas here, that will be a game changer for the country in terms of the economy,” Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe said. "If we can discover oil and gas here, that will be a game changer for the country in terms of the economy,” Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe said.

Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe says the Total Exploration and Production Southern Africa's deep sea stavenger rig operations in the Western Cape should boost investor confidence and contribute positively to the oceans economy.

"If we can discover oil and gas here, that will be a game changer for the country in terms of the economy. We hope that we will discover oil so that we can reduce our dependence on imported crude oil,” Mantashe said.

On Saturday, the Minister led a delegation from the Department of Mineral Resources on a visit to the Total Exploration and Production Southern Africa's Deep Sea Stavenger Rig operations, situated 180km off the shore of Mossel Bay.

"We will work with other government departments in giving the project all the support we can, because we believe that it will help support a turnaround in our economy,” he said.

The Minister’s visit comes ahead of the official opening of the Mining Indaba on Monday, where he will engage with the investment community on the one of the country’s key economic sectors.

The Minister's delegation included the Director-General, Advocate Thabo Mokoena, the Deputy Director General responsible for Policy and Promotion Ntokozo Ngcwabe and acting CEO at Petroleum Agency South Africa Lindiwe Mekwe.

Saudi Arabia's $10bn investment in SA to bring new refinery, petrochemical plant

In January, Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe and Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih announced that the Arab kingdom’s $10bn investment in South Africa would come in the form of a new crude oil refinery and petrochemical plant.

The two ministers held bilateral talks in Pretoria on Friday morning to discuss the details of the $10bn investment announced in July of 2018. They also discussed the possibility of Saudi Aramco using the tanks at Saldanha to store crude oil.

Supplying 40% of South Africa’s crude oil, according to the Department of Energy, Saudi Arabia’s significance as a trade partner cannot be overstated. 

According to Trading Economics, Saudi Arabia accounts for 4.8% of South Africa’s total imports, also accounting for one of SA’s largest trade deficits.

A statement from the Department of Energy said the investment will see Saudi Aramco and South Africa’s Central Energy Fund working together to establish the terms of the investment and long-term partnership in energy.

Read more on:

Government of South Africa  |  Gwede Mantashe  |  Jeff Radebe  |  Khalid Al-Falih
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