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South Africa just became the world’s hottest destination for oil exploration

A map of South Africa, locating offshore oil exploration blocks. Petroleum giant Total made a massive gas-condensate discovery in the Outeniqua basin. Picture: AFP

Southern Africa has just become the hottest destination for hydrocarbon exploration in the world.

Stephen Larkin, CEO - Africa New Energies

A ‘giant discovery’ is defined as more than 500 million barrels of oil equivalent… This is by a country mile the largest that has been found. For every barrel of oil geologists find, petroleum engineers find another seven…

Stephen Larkin, CEO - Africa New Energies

Most of the delays… are political… rather than engineering delays… You can put in a pipeline relatively quickly… 2 kilometres per day in the ocean…

Stephen Larkin, CEO - Africa New Energies

French oil firm Total recently made public its discovery of a large “gas condensate” discovery 175 kilometres off the south coast of South Africa at its “Brulpadda” prospects in the Outeniqua basin.

The company says it may contain between 500 million to over a billion barrels of oil equivalent.

The well extends to a depth of more than 3.6 kilometres.

The gas condensate – effectively a liquid form of natural gas - is a more prized fossil fuel than crude oil.

It usually trades at a premium of between $5 and $10 to the oil price.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Stephen Larkin, CEO at Africa New Energies, for his brand-new feature "How it Works".

Larkin reckons that, if the government plays its cards right, the find could cut the budget deficit by 30%.

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and scroll down for more quotes from it).

Liquid hydrocarbons… can now be supplied locally…

Stephen Larkin, CEO - Africa New Energies

It’s not a game changer in terms of power.

Stephen Larkin, CEO - Africa New Energies

It’s going to cost a minimum of $3 billion…

Stephen Larkin, CEO - Africa New Energies

Fracking globally is an admission of exploration failure… Fracking resources were easy to find but extremely inefficient to extract…

Stephen Larkin, CEO - Africa New Energies

If we’re going to solve Eskom’s problems, everyone needs to get together to invest in it…

Stephen Larkin, CEO - Africa New Energies

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