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Historic Milestones

PetroSA was formed in January 2002 from the merger of three previous entities: Mossgas (Pty) Limited, Soekor (Pty) Limited, and parts of the Strategic Fuel Fund Association. Here are some of the key milestones leading up to this historic merger: 

Following the establishment of Soekor, the first land search for oil commences in Beaufort West, Western Cape. Small accumulations of oil are found, but they are non-commercial. 

First offshore well drilled by Superior Group. Natural gas deposits are also discovered in the continental shelf complex off the Southern Cape coast. 

Soekor commences offshore drilling in a joint venture with Rand Mines and US Natural Resources. 

Soekor drills its own first offshore well. 

Soekor terminates its land search for oil. 

Discovery of the F-A gas field in Block 9 of the Bredasdorp Basin, off the Southern Cape coast. Soekor and other parties drill 48 boreholes. The exploration discovers gas in 25 and oil in seven. 

Discovery of the E-M field, which together with the F-A field, provides the basis for establishing the GTL project in Mossel Bay. 

The GTL project in Mossel Bay is initiated. 

Discovery of Oryx, the first of South Africa’s current oil-producing fields. Oryx is 100% owned by PetroSA. 

Drilling of EC-E, the first discovery well for the Sable oil field, located 95 km offshore and 17 km west of Oribi. PetroSA has a 60% working interest in Sable, with its partners, Pioneer Natural Resources and Petroleum Limited, owning 35% and 5% respectively. 

Discovery of Oribi (E-BT1) oilfield, 140 km South-West of Mossel Bay. Oribi is owned 80% by PetroSA and 20% BY Energy Africa Limited. 

The first oil produced comes from the E-AG1 and E-AR1 boreholes during extended well tests. The yield is sold on the local market. 

Drilling of E-BD, the second discovery well for the Sable oil field. 

The F-A fields as well as the Mossel Bay gas-to-liquids (GTL) refinery start producing. At the time, Mossel Bay is the world's largest commercial GTL refinery. 

South Africa’s first oil production starts as the Oribi field comes onstream. 

Publication of the government’s White Paper on the Energy Policy of the Republic of South Africa. This makes provision for the separation of the commercial, strategic and regulatory functions of the Central Energy Fund group of companies. 

Gas production from the E-M field commences.
Oil production from the Oryx field commences

President Thabo Mbeki launches PetroSA, the Petroleum Oil and Gas Corporation of the Republic of South Africa. 

On October 15, the Sable oil field starts producing.
PetroSA acquires Brass Exploration Unlimited, which owns a 40% stake in OML114 Nigeria. This contains the Abana oil field. 

The South Coast gas fields commence gas and condensate production.
The Department of Minerals and Energy's Energy Security Master Plan (ESMP) is developed. This gives rise to Project Mthombo. 

Sable oil production stops to allow gas production from that field to start.

PetroSA’s Vision 2020 is launched.

Feasibility studies on Project Mthombo are finalised. 

The F-O gas project is initiated. This will augment the gas feedstock supply to the GTL refinery.