Total’s decision to continue to invest in offshore exploration in SA has been shouted from the rooftops — with the department of mineral resources & energy the loudest cheerleader. Meanwhile another oil and gas major, ExxonMobil, has quietly abandoned its efforts to search for oil and gas in SA waters.

Todd Spitler, a media manager at ExxonMobil, confirmed the decision to Business Day but offered little explanation other than to say it was consistent with the company’s strategy to “evaluate our upstream portfolio and opportunities for growth, restructuring or divestment, or exit depending on fit with strategic business objectives”. Spitler said the company would still evaluate future investment opportunities in SA.

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