NGO raises questions as Total makes second gas find off SA coast, Newsline

Cape Town – Petroleum giant Total has announced a second discovery of gas at the Luiperd well about 175km off the coast of Mossel Bay, adjacent to the Brulpadda well where gas was discovered last year.

In a statement, Total said the Luiperd well was drilled 3 400 metres and encountered 73m of net gas condensate in well-developed, good- quality lower cretaceous reservoirs.

Following a comprehensive coring and logging programme, Total said the well would be tested to assess the dynamic reservoir characteristics and deliverability.

“We are very pleased with this second discovery and its very encouraging results, which prove the world-class nature of this offshore gas play,” said Total’s president of exploration and production, Arnaud Breuillac.

“With this discovery and the successful seismic acquisitions, Total and its partners have acquired important data on the Paddavissie fairway, which will help to progress development studies and engage with South African authorities regarding the possible conditions of the gas commercialisation,” Breuillac said.

NGO Green Connection, which works to support and empower local communities along the country’s coastline, questioned whether gas exploration was needed.

The organisation’s Liziwe McDaid said: “The Green Connection notes the uproar around the find of gas off the south coast of SA. But why are we rushing into oil and gas when we haven’t actually had time to consider our energy options for the future?

“The integrated energy plan which the government has promised to put out for consultation by the end of the year is yet to be seen. This is where we would look at what our options are for the future. Energy technology has changed over time.”

She said it had been shown that renewable energy would deliver jobs, and South Africa should consider this in a post-Covid-19 recovery.

Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier welcomed the announcement.

“Two months ago, I observed the crew change of the Deepsea Stavanger, the rig responsible for the drilling campaign, which is expected to last between 180 – 300 days, and which could see up to R1.5 billion invested in the economy.

“This including a number of initiatives to create opportunities for employment and skills development in the local economy in South Africa,” said Maynier.

Cape Times