South Africa plans to #MakeEnergyWork with new oil and gas policy
Image: Visual Buzz SA
#MakeEnergyWork is the official theme of the 2019 Africa Oil & Power Conference and Exhibition
Speaking before parliament on Tuesday, South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe announced that the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy is currently in the works of developing a new oil and gas policy.
The petroleum Bill – which will govern the development of oil and gas resources, comes at an opportune time, as potential investors raise concerns over regulatory and policy uncertainty in the country’s petroleum and mining sector.
In the minister’s plans to #MakeEnergyWork, he noted that: “It is important for us to put our efforts in turning not only mining around but the energy sector in general and electricity generation, in particular.” Adding that, “Our economy still depends to a large extent on the minerals and energy cluster for its growth and development. These sectors will continue to play a significant role in the future of the economy.”
Although South Africa’s oil and gas resources are relatively underdeveloped, the country is a growing competitor in the sector and is positioning itself as a key player in the region – particularly since French oil major, Total, announced South Africa’s first significant deep-water offshore gas condensate discovery in February.
Not expanding on the details of the new policy or when the draft would be presented to Parliament, the minister explained that the Bill would “provide regulatory certainty to the upstream petroleum industry and stimulate growth and development of this sector.”
“We need to speedily work to entrench regulatory policy certainty,” said Mantashe, “the Department [of Mineral Resources and Energy] has begun with the process of developing a Petroleum Resources Development Bill.”
With South Africa on an active mission to stimulate economic growth, this policy is a notable move by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to showcase the role of the energy and mining sectors in generating opportunities, not only for investors but the country’s people.
Hosted under the theme #MakeEnergyWork, the flagship Africa Oil & Power (AOP) Conference and Exhibition will explore this and other topics showcasing the oil, gas and power sectors as key economic drivers.
In 2018, the AOP conference gathered ministers and ministerial delegations from South Africa, South Sudan, Congo-Brazzaville, Somalia, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Zambia, as well as the Secretaries General of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organization, the International Energy Forum and the Gas Exporting Countries Forum. Over three days, almost 100 speakers and panelists addressed delegates from all over the continent under the theme ‘Energy Coalitions.’