South Africa: TotalEnergies’ 11B/12B gas project caught in Govt headwinds

French oil French oil and gas major TotalEnergies is having to deal with a plethora of players as it tries to develop its 11B/12B gas block, with its various South African partners far from united on the issue.

The head of TotalEnergies‘ South African subsidiary, Bertrand Bouvet, is to meet executives on 12 September from state oil company PetroSA, including managing director Sandisiwe Ncemane and operations manager Sesakho Magadla as the French oil and gas major tries to make progress on developing offshore gas block 11B/12B. The talks, which will also be attended by TotalEnergies project manager Philippe Broyard, are part of a series of meetings in recent months between the major and representatives of the South African administration. 

TotalEnergies has been struggling for nearly three years to bring the project to fruition, despite the fact that it is regarded as strategic by CEO Patrick Pouyanné, who became personally involved during his visit to South Africa in October 2022 (AI, 03/02/23).

To speed up the process, Bouvet and his teams have met in quick succession in recent weeks with the new Minister for Electricity Kgosientso Ramokgopa, known as “Sputla,” who was appointed at the beginning of March, as well as executives from the state-owned electricity company Eskom and PetroSA. As the two state-owned companies are direct competitors on this issue, all meetings are conducted separately. Internally, many employees regret that the various government agencies are not adopting a joint position. read more

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