by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – CRISIS-plagued South Africa must maximise the exploitation of its gas reserves to ensure energy security, affordability and reliability amid a worsening energy crisis.
This is according to an energy executive as the southern African nation’s woes worsen with state power utility Eskom intensifying the implementation of load shedding.
The African Energy Chamber (AEC) believes South Africa’s solution to addressing its current and looming energy problems is gas.
“South Africa’s vast gas resources provide an opportunity to boost declining power generation,” said NJ Ayuk, AEC Executive Chairman.
“There is a vital and urgent need for the country to ease regulation and create an enabling environment for oil and gas projects to take off,” Ayuk said.
AEC called upon government and stakeholders to speed up the development of recent discoveries to generate additional capacity for security while also pushing forward exploration activities and infrastructure development across the upstream, midstream and downstream.
TotalEnergies’ Brulpadda and Luiperd$3 billion investment projects are new discoveries.
However, energy transition-related litigations against hydrocarbon development, weak technical solutions, underdeveloped gas infrastructure, delays in gas project rollout, policy gaps and inadequate investments in exploration and production continue are hindrances.
Amid litigation and the country halting massive oil and gas investments of up to R1 billion within a period of less than two months – according to energy regulator Petroleum Agency SA – a major energy crisis looms.
Major player, ExxonMobil, is also exiting the market, exacerbating the need to fast-track upstream production investments and activities in a major way.
Weeks of loadshedding are exacerbating economic crises worsened by the COVID-19 lockdowns.
– CAJ News