The Brulpadda discovery has opened up a major new hydrocarbon play off South Africa and thrust one of the partners in the Total-operated field, Africa Energy Corporation, and its chief executive Garrett Soden, into the spotlight.

A strong interest in geopolitics and the way the world works brought Soden into the world of oil and gas. But it was not a direct route.

“My first interest was geopolitics and international relations, and a lot of that is based around natural resources, specifically oil,” he says.