The 2019 financial year will be a defining one for synfuels and chemicals producer Sasol, and already it’s off to a good start.The company share price had increased 41% in the past six months on the back of the oil price rising from $70 to $80 a barrel since January. This puts a strain on SA’s petrol consumers, but it is a bonus for Sasol — which produces synthetic fuels from coal from its Secunda plant at a breakeven price of $40 a barrel. Though global oil stocks are in deficit, Opec (the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) has indicated it has no intention of increasing oil output any time soon. This will keep oil prices high, if not push them higher.The oil price is not the only thing going for Sasol. The worst appears to be over for its Lake Charles Chemicals Project in the US, which had been hit by cost overruns of $2bn and had damaged investor sentiment.Now 88% complete, the $11.3bn project is on track to start coming online before Christmas, when it can start ...

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