Total makes second offshore SA gas find

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The find is expected to bring a much-needed boost to South Africa’s ailing economy, already in recession before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

JOHANNESBURG – French energy giant Total announced Wednesday it had made a second “significant” gas discovery off South Africa’s southern coast, months after a similar finding in 2019.

The gas deposit was found 175 kilometres (110 miles) offshore near another discovered early last year.

“Total has made a significant gas condensate discovery on the Luiperd prospect… in the Outeniqua Basin,” it said in a statement.

“This discovery follows the adjacent play opening Brulpadda discovery in 2019, which proved a significant new petroleum province in the region.”

The find is expected to bring a much-needed boost to South Africa’s ailing economy, already in recession before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is scheduled to lay out a much-awaited medium-term budget later on Wednesday which the government is increasingly struggling to fund.

Total exploration and production president Arnaud Breuillac said the second discovery showed “the world-class nature of this offshore gas play”.

In the statement, Breuillac added that Total had acquired “important data” on the reserves that would help the company engage with South African authorities on “possible conditions of… commercialization”.

Total holds a 45% stake in the block, alongside Qatari, British and South African firms.

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