US supermajor ExxonMobil and Norwegian major Equinor have decided to quit South Africa’s exploration scene to focus on core parts of their portfolios.

Despite the duo being partners in acreage close to Total’s exciting Brulpadda gas, condensate and oil discovery, it is understood that capital demands elsewhere have played a key role in their decisions to quit.

ExxonMobil’s oil and gas projects in Mozambique and Guyana, in particular, are capex heavy, while recent tax breaks in Norway mean Equinor has little choice but to focus spending domestically over the next two years in order to reap fiscal dividends.