TotalEnergies wants to export gas from two major discoveries offshore South Africa via a potential 3.4 million tonnes per annum floating liquefied natural gas vessel after growing frustrated with the time taken to pursue a domestic gas sales agreement.

Exporting gas is likely to be seen as a provocative move in a country that desperately needs to re-establish a baseload energy supply to help stabilise an economy reeling from rolling blackouts.

South Africa has been struggling with an energy crisis since the near collapse of state-owned Eskom’s coal-to-power infrastructure system following decades of neglect and corruption.