Cape Town - South Africa is looking to source oil from
Angola, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia to replace supplies from Iran, which is facing
sanctions over its nuclear programme, a top energy official said on Friday.
Africa’s biggest economy used to import a quarter of its
crude from Iran, but has come under Western pressure to cut the shipments as
part of sanctions designed to halt Tehran’s suspected pursuit of nuclear
“We intend looking at
other countries, specifically in Africa, mainly Angola and Nigeria,” Nelisiwe
Magubane, director general at the energy department told journalists.
of course, are going to continue to import from Saudi Arabia.”
South Africa’s crude oil imports from Iran fell 43% to
286 072 tonnes in April from the previous month, while supplies from Saudi
Arabia nearly doubled to 671 419 tonnes. The remaining 258 184 tonnes came from
The United States granted South Africa an exemption from
financial sanctions after the cuts in Iranian imports. Pretoria may still face
problems because of sanctions from the European Union, which does not provide
Magubane said she expected a “breakthrough” soon in talks
with Brussels on the issue.
“The sanctions are not just going to impact the South
African economy, but it is also going to impact that of our neighbours,” she
Any disruption to crude imports could hit fuel supplies in
South Africa, which has suffered shortages in the last year because of strikes
and refinery problems.
Refiners in South Africa include Shell, BP, Total, Chevron,
petrochemicals group Sasol [JSE:SOL], and Engen, which is majority-owned by
Malaysian state oil group Petronas.