THE Central Energy Fund on Tuesday painted a bleak picture of South Africa’s gas outlook, telling lawmakers that SA’s Mossgas, one of the world’s largest GTL refineries, can run out of gas in a year’s time.
The state-owned diversified energy firm told parliament that national oil firm PetroSA’s flagship gas-to-liquid (GTL) plant in Mossel Bay is expected to run out of domestic supplies by the end of next year, Reuters reported.
The CEF said “reserves are close to depletion and are expected to run out by December 2020 and there is still no sustainable techno-economic long-term solution for the gas-to-liquid refinery”, according to the report.
The government’s draft Integrated Resource Plan sees gas tripling its existing capacity to 16% of the electricity mix in 2030.
According to Reuters the Mossgas refinery is currently operating well below its nameplate capacity of 36,000 barrels per day – equivalent to 45,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
In February this year, French oil major Total made a gas discovery 175 kilometers off the southern coast of South Africa. The Western Cape government said then that the Brulpadda gas find could save Mossgas from potential closure and job losses.
However, it can take up to 15 years before the gas can be mined in pockets in deep waters in a very difficult current, Western Cape MEC Economic Opportunities, Beverley Schafer, told CapeTalk.