All questions

Introduction

The South African upstream oil and gas regulatory landscape is on the cusp of a legislative transition as the country awaits enactment of the Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill (UPRDB). The UPRDB was introduced into the national assembly on 1 July 2021 and once passed, the UPRDB will separate upstream oil and gas activities from the mining sector. As of January 2022, South Africa's estimated crude oil reserves are 15 million barrels, all of which are located offshore,2 and the natural gas reserves were estimated at only 25.1 billion cubic meters (bcm) as at 2021. There is significant opportunity for gas production in South Africa, with TotalEnergies' announcement in 2021 of two significant gas discoveries, namely the Bulpradda and Luipard prospects. The Block 11B12B joint venture has since applied for a production right. Production of the domestic oil and gas reserves has the potential to spark a much-needed energy transition in the country. Currently South Africa's offshore oil and gas acreage is occupied by a mix of junior, major and supermajor oil companies, as well as the national oil company, and we stand at the precipice of an exciting period in the development and production of gas and condensates, both onshore and offshore, all of which could positively impact the South African economy.