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Mantashe calls on oil and gas players to invest in South Africa

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Gwede Mantashe, South Africa’s Minister of Minerals and Energy called on international oil and gas investors to consider South Africa in their exploration and production plans. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

Mantashe calls on oil and gas players to invest in South Africa

Gwede Mantashe, South Africa’s Minister of Minerals and Energy yesterday called on international oil and gas investors to consider South Africa in their exploration and production plans. Mantashe spoke on day one of the Third Annual Southern African Oil and Gas Conference, which is being held at the Cape Town International Conventional Centre.

In his speech, Mantashe highlighted the opportunities for upstream oil and gas exploration and production, and the significant socio-economic impacts it could have.

The theme for the conference is Oil and Gas development to address Southern Africa’s energy challenges while ensuring a just energy transition.

The conference is a joint event hosted by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), the South African Oil and Gas Alliance (SAOGA) and the Petroleum Agency South Africa (PASA).

Challenge of energy poverty (Mantashe calls on oil and gas players to invest in South Africa)  

“Let me take this opportunity to reassure you that South Africa is open to the global community to explore opportunities in oil and gas. We are inviting investors to come to South Africa as an investment destination to work with our government in the development of oil and gas projects, whether they are offshore or onshore,” said Mantashe.

Mantashe highlighted the challenge of energy poverty in Africa saying the need to bring electricity to six hundred million Africans needed to be balanced with the necessity to move to decarbonisation.

“Transitioning from fossil fuels to renewables requires careful consideration and testing. Both decarbonisation and access to energy are important goals. The Petroleum Agency South Africa estimates that South Africa holds 27 billion barrels of oil and 60 trillion cubic feet of gas. If properly managed, these resources can boost our economic growth by 5-8%.”

Key lessons from Guyana (Mantashe calls on oil and gas players to invest in South Africa)

Mantashe delivered the keynote address following a series of case studies on the potential of oil and gas including one on Guyana’s upstream oil and gas industry and the impact on its economy presented by Professor Paloma Mohamed-Martin from the University of Guyana.

Professor Mohamed-Martin highlighted the key lessons South Africa’s sector could take from Guyana’s exploration of oil and gas which has seen its economy grow by 62.3% in 2022.

Guyana has enjoyed success thanks to its ability to manage the energy trilemma of energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability. In so doing the South American nation was working to be global leaders in energy, in climate action and in food security by investing in key areas of its economy outside of oil and gas.

“Transformation for Guyana now is not only to have the revenue from oil and gas, to diversify our economy, but also we are part of the energy transition that the world is talking about.”

However, the professor had an important warning for the oil and gas sector.

“South Africa cannot afford to squander the opportunities presented by upstream oil and gas on narrow personal interests, for if managed well they can represent a real chance to change the lives of many, if not transform your country.”

Other highlights for day one included a panel discussion on SADC region’s response to the energy issues from an upstream oil and gas perspective and unpacking the Virginia Gas Project Case Study and localisation strategy case studies for Namibia and Mozambique.

Mantashe calls on oil and gas players to invest in South Africa

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Mantashe calls on oil and gas players to invest in South Africa

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