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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: 

1965
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. 

1969
First offshore well drilled by Superior Group. Natural gas deposits are also discovered in the continental shelf complex off the Southern Cape coast. 

1970
Soekor commences offshore drilling in a joint venture with Rand Mines and US Natural Resources. 

1973
Soekor drills its own first offshore well. 

1978
Soekor terminates its land search for oil. 

1980
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. 

1983
Discovery of the E-M field, which together with the F-A field, provides the basis for establishing the GTL project in Mossel Bay. 

1987
The GTL project in Mossel Bay is initiated. 

1988
Discovery of Oryx, the first of South Africa’s current oil-producing fields. Oryx is 100% owned by PetroSA. 

1989
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. 

1990
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. 

1991
Drilling of E-BD, the second discovery well for the Sable oil field. 

1992
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. 

1997
South Africa’s first oil production starts as the Oribi field comes onstream. 

1998
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. 

2000
Gas production from the E-M field commences.
Oil production from the Oryx field commences

2002
President Thabo Mbeki launches PetroSA, the Petroleum Oil and Gas Corporation of the Republic of South Africa. 

2003
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. 

2007
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. 

2008
Sable oil production stops to allow gas production from that field to start.

PetroSA’s Vision 2020 is launched.

2009
Feasibility studies on Project Mthombo are finalised. 

2010
The F-O gas project is initiated. This will augment the gas feedstock supply to the GTL refinery.