Total’s $100bn gas find in the Outeniqua Basin off the Western Cape coast could allow SA to diversify its energy mix, cut reliance on coal, boost refined product exports and slash its trade deficit in energy products. In 2017 the Western Cape spent R76bn importing crude oil, its main import, but exported only R13.2bn in refined petroleum. "If SA is able to use this new find to boost exports of additional refined products, it could reduce this deficit significantly," says Tim Harris, CEO of Wesgro, the investment facilitation arm of the province. Fortuitously, the provincial government recently identified oil and gas as a key sector to drive the regional economy and has been working to develop it, focusing mainly on the Saldanha Bay industrial development zone and the servicing opportunities created by oil discoveries in Angola and West Africa. As a result, the province already has many of the skills necessary to take advantage of the new opportunities that may arise from Total’s gas...

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