South Africa - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
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South Africa  

Country Analysis Brief Overview

  • South Africa has a large energy-intensive coal mining industry. The country has limited proved reserves of oil and natural gas and uses its large coal deposits to meet most of its energy needs, particularly in the electricity sector. South Africa also has a sophisticated synthetic fuels industry, producing gasoline and diesel fuels from the Secunda coal-to-liquids (CTL) and Mossel Bay gas-to-liquids (GTL) plants.
  • PetroSA, a South African state-owned company, operates upstream oil and natural gas producing assets in South Africa, along with the GTL plant in Mossel Bay. Sasol, a privately-owned company based in South Africa, operates the Secunda CTL plant, has a majority interest in the Natref oil refinery, partially owns the pipeline transporting natural gas from Mozambique to South Africa, and is involved in coal mining.
  • South Africa has the world's ninth-largest amount of recoverable coal reserves and holds 95% of Africa's total coal reserves. Environmental groups continue to target the industry for air, land, and water pollution. However, coal consumption in South Africa is expected to continue to increase as new coal-fired power stations are scheduled to come online in the next few years to meet rising demand for electricity.
  • South Africa exports roughly 25% of its coal production. The Richards Bay Coal Terminal, the country's main coal export terminal, is one of the world's largest. In 2013, the terminal received and exported more than 70 million tons of coal for the first time. India and China are the largest importers of South African coal.
  • South Africa imports natural gas from Mozambique via pipeline to supply Sasol's Secunda CTL plant and to fuel some gas-fired power plants. South Africa produces a small volume of natural gas offshore, and it is mainly used to supply the Mossel Bay GTL plant.
  • EIA estimates that South Africa holds 390 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of technically recoverable shale gas resources. Environmental concerns led the government to place a moratorium on shale gas exploration from April 2011 to September 2012. In October 2013, the government released proposed new regulations to govern the exploration of shale resources. International companies are still waiting to be issued permit licenses for shale exploration.
  • South Africa has small amounts of proved crude oil reserves, and the country's crude oil production is very small. Synthetic fuels, derived from coal and natural gas, account for almost 90% of the country's domestic petroleum production.
  • South Africa consumes the second-largest amount of petroleum in Africa, behind Egypt. The petroleum consumed in South Africa comes mostly from its domestic refineries that import crude oil and its CTL and GTL plants. South Africa imports crude oil mostly from OPEC countries in the Middle East and West Africa, with roughly half imported from Saudi Arabia in 2013.
  • South Africa's electricity system is constrained as the margin between peak demand and available electricity supply is very small. In November 2013, Eskom requested that its largest industrial customers cut their electricity consumption by 10% during peak demand times.

Read full South Africa Analysis Brief »

Analysis Last Updated: February 28, 2014


Overview data for South Africa

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Petroleum (Thousand Barrels per Day)
Previous Year
Latest Year
   
History
South Africa
Africa
World
Rank
    
South Africa
Total Oil Production 0.0000 , 4.0000 , 20.0000 , 55.0000 , 55.0000 , 60.0000 , 67.1316 , 72.1408 , 67.2554 , 77.2731 , 77.3614 , 77.4147 , 140.1935 , 194.5206 , 195.0919 , 206.7887 , 208.1799 , 210.4160 , 213.8069 , 194.8304 , 201.6306 , 209.2858 , 211.4443 , 202.3094 , 234.0417 , 215.2108 , 201.4067 , 196.1957 , 193.7133 , 182.6166 , 180.4643 , 181.0411 , 180.9537 , 180.6219
(1980-2013)
180.95 9,971 89,692 38   180.62
Crude Oil Production 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 17.9780 , 25.0000 , 26.0000 , 26.2055 , 19.4959 , 29.6411 , 55.8279 , 34.4027 , 20.1562 , 16.0575 , 14.5820 , 4.0000 , 3.4932 , 4.0000 , 3.9126 , 3.5808
(1980-2013)
3.91 9,058 75,889 80   3.58
Consumption 312.0000 , 324.0000 , 349.0000 , 338.0000 , 360.0000 , 350.0000 , 349.9600 , 344.5220 , 342.2971 , 348.1930 , 375.0000 , 402.5088 , 411.6224 , 402.1100 , 409.5597 , 421.0732 , 427.7251 , 438.6958 , 450.7740 , 465.6658 , 457.9261 , 458.2411 , 475.4421 , 490.2106 , 503.9100 , 536.6270 , 550.6286 , 560.8354 , 526.9352 , 532.6089 , 549.4126 , 595.0000 , 608.8229 , 604.0000
(1980-2013)
608.82 3,497 89,160 31   604.00
Estimated Petroleum Net Exports -312.0000 , -320.0000 , -329.0000 , -283.0000 , -305.0000 , -290.0000 , -282.8284 , -272.3812 , -275.0417 , -270.9199 , -297.6386 , -325.0941 , -271.4289 , -207.5894 , -214.4679 , -214.2845 , -219.5452 , -228.2799 , -236.9671 , -270.8354 , -256.2955 , -248.9553 , -263.9978 , -287.9012 , -269.8683 , -321.4162 , -349.2219 , -364.6398 , -333.2219 , -349.9922 , -368.9483 , -413.9589 , -427.8692 , -423.3781
(1980-2013)
-427.87 6,474 -- 197   -423.38
Refinery Capacity 479.0000 , 469.0000 , 424.0000 , 424.0000 , 389.0000 , 389.0000 , 389.0000 , 389.0000 , 434.0000 , 434.0000 , 434.0000 , 431.0000 , 430.5000 , 430.5000 , 364.0380 , 401.0380 , 401.0000 , 414.1500 , 465.0000 , 468.5470 , 466.5470 , 473.5470 , 468.5470 , 489.5470 , 519.5470 , 489.5470 , 504.5470 , 488.2970 , 485.2970 , 485.2970 , 485.2970 , 486.5470 , 484.5470
(1980-2012)
487 3,220 88,097 37   485
Proved Reserves(Billion Barrels) 0.1165 , 0.1150 , 0.1145 , 77777777777.0000 , 77777777777.0000 , 77777777777.0000 , 77777777777.0000 , 77777777777.0000 , 77777777777.0000 , 77777777777.0000 , 77777777777.0000 , 0.0410 , 0.0404 , 0.0267 , 0.0267 , 0.0294 , 0.0294 , 0.0294 , 0.0294 , 0.0157 , 0.0157 , 0.0157 , 0.0157 , 0.0157 , 0.0150 , 0.0150 , 0.0150 , 0.0150 , 0.0150 , 0.0150 , 0.0150 , 0.0150
(1983-2014)
0.02 128 1,646 79   0.02
Natural Gas (Billion Cubic Feet)
Previous Year
Latest Year
   
History
South Africa
Africa
World
Rank
 
South Africa
Production 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 1.4100 , 63.5670 , 68.8600 , 69.2200 , 65.0099 , 61.8013 , 51.2068 , 49.4410 , 58.2698 , 74.1615 , 81.2245 , 80.5182 , 78.7525 , 77.6930 , 102.4135 , 54.0320 , 48.0284 , 37.4339 , 34.2556 , 45.2032 , 41.9087
(1980-2012)
45.20 7,124 116,255 60   41.91
Consumption 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 1.4100 , 63.5670 , 68.8600 , 69.2200 , 65.0099 , 61.8013 , 51.2068 , 49.4410 , 58.2698 , 74.1615 , 81.2245 , 80.5182 , 78.7525 , 77.6930 , 148.3230 , 140.2006 , 145.4978 , 126.7809 , 141.6132 , 161.7427 , 163.7454
(1980-2012)
161.74 3,909 116,395 61   163.75
Net Export/Imports(-) 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , 0.0000 , -45.9095 , -86.1686 , -97.4694 , -89.3470 , -107.3576 , -116.5395 , -121.8368
(1990-2012)
-116.54 3,215 -- 34   -121.84
Proved Reserves
(Trillion Cubic Feet)
0.2830 , 0.4000 , 0.4000 , 0.3500 , 0.9890 , 0.9890 , 0.9800 , 1.7600 , 1.7600 , 1.7600 , 1.8000 , 1.9000 , 0.9430 , 0.9590 , 0.9590 , 0.9000 , 0.8260 , 0.7800 , 0.7800 , 0.7800 , 0.0010 , 0.0010 , 0.0010 , 0.0010 , 0.0010 , 0.9180 , 0.8120 , 0.6000 , 0.4940 , 0.4240 , 0.5300
(1982-2012)
0.42 519 6,708 72   0.53
Coal (Million Short Tons)
Previous Year
Latest Year
   
History
South Africa
Africa
World
Rank
 
South Africa
Production 131.9489 , 149.3268 , 154.6025 , 160.5263 , 179.5974 , 191.2620 , 194.7663 , 194.6153 , 199.9152 , 194.4720 , 193.1812 , 196.4275 , 201.1993 , 203.0447 , 215.8386 , 227.3021 , 227.4752 , 244.3163 , 246.9199 , 242.9935 , 248.9350 , 250.7869 , 245.7669 , 263.7843 , 267.6659 , 270.0509 , 269.8172 , 273.0050 , 278.0173 , 275.0146 , 280.5625 , 278.6169 , 285.8315
(1980-2012)
278.617 285 8,444 7   285.832
Consumption 104.7659 , 116.3677 , 123.5173 , 127.3467 , 137.4891 , 141.7683 , 144.6343 , 148.0415 , 151.3154 , 140.4874 , 139.0819 , 143.6385 , 147.3900 , 146.3897 , 160.7450 , 162.2606 , 163.9363 , 171.6652 , 160.8387 , 169.1045 , 175.0096 , 177.8590 , 170.1219 , 185.9259 , 198.8200 , 193.3487 , 196.0791 , 201.1564 , 216.8544 , 211.8246 , 209.6982 , 205.4047 , 206.3284
(1980-2012)
205.405 219 8,285 6   206.328
Net Export/Imports(-) 32187.4917 , 32959.1096 , 31085.1803 , 33179.5719 , 42108.2939 , 49493.7800 , 50155.1669 , 46627.7705 , 48654.9211 , 53917.3555 , 54632.7556 , 53710.4969 , 54741.8844 , 58603.8554 , 59562.3273 , 65383.2676 , 66666.1453 , 69955.4424 , 72613.6166 , 72041.5589 , 75839.0215 , 75050.8689 , 74585.6935 , 75394.7901 , 71534.4957 , 76702.1313 , 73738.0161 , 71848.6544 , 61162.8481 , 55116.6703 , 70864.2904 , 73212.2136 , 79503.1045
(1980-2012)
73.212 66 -- 103   79.503
Electricity (Billion Kilowatthours)
Previous Year
Latest Year
   
History
South Africa
Africa
World
Rank
 
South Africa
Net Generation 93.0730 , 106.9320 , 111.9150 , 113.8700 , 127.3950 , 133.2360 , 138.2740 , 142.0100 , 148.1320 , 153.3900 , 156.0070 , 158.8610 , 157.0790 , 163.2680 , 170.7050 , 176.0510 , 186.1880 , 195.0630 , 191.0410 , 188.4900 , 195.8289 , 196.2893 , 203.2701 , 217.2317 , 227.5477 , 227.9480 , 235.4671 , 245.6431 , 239.6941 , 230.6108 , 241.9349 , 243.3745
(1980-2011)
241.93 638 20,254 15   243.37
Net Consumption 85.5190 , 98.8920 , 103.2660 , 104.4970 , 119.0260 , 124.6240 , 132.1300 , 134.0210 , 140.3480 , 144.6200 , 144.6920 , 146.2600 , 143.5800 , 148.0200 , 154.1000 , 161.6680 , 165.3730 , 172.3570 , 172.0430 , 173.8510 , 180.1029 , 180.2853 , 190.3731 , 196.1317 , 200.0067 , 205.0450 , 210.6331 , 220.4781 , 213.6331 , 204.5738 , 214.9919 , 218.3025
(1980-2011)
214.99 562 18,501 16   218.30
Installed Capacity (GWe) 20.5480 , 23.8590 , 23.9590 , 24.5590 , 25.4700 , 24.3690 , 26.6960 , 29.6280 , 31.4750 , 32.4170 , 33.8530 , 36.2380 , 36.8560 , 37.6460 , 35.9360 , 37.7600 , 36.5730 , 39.1320 , 39.4470 , 41.2150 , 46.1230 , 41.9210 , 41.8900 , 41.8900 , 41.8900 , 42.0900 , 42.6970 , 42.9130 , 44.2740 , 44.2560 , 44.2480 , 44.2830
(1980-2011)
44.25 135 5,086 22   44.28
Total Primary Energy (Quadrillion Btu)
Previous Year
Latest Year
   
History
South Africa
Africa
World
Rank
 
South Africa
Production 2.7152 , 3.0682 , 3.1732 , 3.2813 , 3.7156 , 3.9793 , 4.0973 , 4.0688 , 4.2347 , 4.1214 , 4.0458 , 4.1197 , 4.2144 , 4.3043 , 4.5980 , 4.8406 , 4.8556 , 5.4378 , 5.5247 , 5.4344 , 5.5782 , 5.6182 , 5.5209 , 5.9142 , 6.0647 , 6.0524 , 6.0384 , 6.0528 , 6.1531 , 6.0463 , 6.1804 , 6.1509
(1980-2011)
6.180 37 505 19   6.151
Consumption 2.7283 , 2.9559 , 3.1580 , 3.1872 , 3.4528 , 3.5160 , 3.6177 , 3.6684 , 3.7810 , 3.5505 , 3.5234 , 3.6762 , 3.7619 , 3.6746 , 4.0841 , 4.1098 , 4.1653 , 4.5569 , 4.3493 , 4.4632 , 4.5837 , 4.6471 , 4.5358 , 4.8760 , 5.2151 , 5.1204 , 5.2876 , 5.4243 , 5.7712 , 5.6134 , 5.6009 , 5.6100
(1980-2011)
5.601 16 507 19   5.610
Energy Intensity
(Btu per 2005 U.S. Dollars)
11373.0421 , 11691.7967 , 12542.1527 , 12896.0839 , 13292.9729 , 13702.4604 , 14095.9710 , 13999.7535 , 13847.6137 , 12699.2520 , 12642.6688 , 13326.7282 , 13935.1710 , 13445.8325 , 14476.0700 , 14127.0563 , 13726.4787 , 14629.9335 , 13891.4845 , 13927.0188 , 13732.4664 , 13551.5582 , 12759.0178 , 13323.2631 , 13628.8287 , 12710.7710 , 12429.1429 , 12078.0152 , 12406.8785 , 12274.0992 , 11907.5054 , 11561.7860
(1980-2011)
11,908 5,302 7,401 23   11,562
Carbon Dioxide Emissions (Million Metric Tons of CO₂)
Previous Year
Latest Year
   
History
South Africa
Africa
World
Rank
 
South Africa
Total from Consumption of Fossil Fuels
235.0257 , 254.6974 , 272.9373 , 276.5836 , 296.4670 , 302.0465 , 308.7292 , 315.2349 , 319.5534 , 297.9898 , 297.9767 , 310.3727 , 320.1934 , 318.9894 , 347.1736 , 347.4662 , 352.2765 , 383.7965 , 365.3317 , 376.6460 , 386.0143 , 392.7230 , 379.9767 , 412.7344 , 442.1973 , 432.4129 , 444.3870 , 457.0218 , 489.9699 , 477.5584 , 473.1547 , 461.5650
(1980-2011)
473.15 1,155 31,502 11   461.57

-- = Not applicable; NA = Not available; E = Estimate value
Sources: EIA. For more detailed data, see International Energy Statistics.

Data last updated: May 30, 2013

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