South Africa Retreats From E&P Adventure

By Fred Akanni

21 years after JSE listed Energy Africa launched its Pan African foray, fanning out across the continent for exploration and producing portfolio, the spirit of adventure by South African E&P companies has considerably waned.

At its height in the early noughties, the S.A.E&P adventure was vigorously blessed by the state. President Mandela took the state oil company to Libya. His successor, Thabo Mbeki, seriously examined the possibility of PetroSA taking position in Sudan, even when that country stood accused of genocide in Darfur.

With not much of oil to its name, the Rainbow Country hosted the World Petroleum Congress in 2005; it was the only time the Olympics of Petroleum Conferences would take place on the continent.

Today, the only South African owned company with any substantial African E&P holding outside South Africa is Sasol.

It is symbolic of the times that SacOil, the JSE listed company which represents the latest vigorous Pan African effort by any South African enterprise, has dived from upstream to downstream, renaming itself Efora (Energy For Africa), even when its major assets are a bunch of fuel stations and a crude oil trading partnership. Read the full story of South Africa’s 21 Year Pan African Odyssey in the Vol 18, No 7 of the Africa Oil+Gas Report, here.


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