(Reuters) TotalEnergies has lodged its production license application for Block 11B/12B offshore South Africa, the national petroleum regulator said on Tuesday, before a deadline expired which might have seen the oil major forfeit its right to develop the huge discovery.
TotalEnergies discovered two large gas fields, Brulpadda and Luiperd, in offshore block 11B/12B about 175 km off South Africa’s southern coast in 2019 and 2020.
The application was filed on Monday and “will be assessed for completeness over the next 14 days”, the Petroleum Agency of South Africa (PASA) told Reuters in an email.
In March, the chief executive of PASA said if TotalEnergies did not submit its production license application by September when its exploration licence expired, the block would revert back to the market.
Developing the block is seen as a vital pillar of South Africa’s gas energy ambitions, with the development of the Luiperd prospect potentially connecting to an existing offshore platform run by national oil company PetroSA via a sub-sea pipeline of less than 100 kilometers (62.14 miles).
PetroSA’s 45,000 barrel per day gas-to-liquid refinery in Mossel Bay is virtually at a standstill as production has plummeted due dwindling gas feedstock off South Africa’s southern coast.
TotalEnergies joint venture partners in Block 11B/12B include QatarEnergy and Canadian Natural Resources.