TotalEnergies to Divest Stake in South Africa Oil Refinery

TotalEnergies Marketing South Africa is divesting its 36.36 percent minority stake in National Petroleum Refiners of South Africa (Natref) to the Prax Group.Located at Sasolburg, South Africa, the Natref refinery has a capacity of 108,500 barrels of oil per day, and supplies the main South African inland market in the Johannesburg area. The refinery is operated by a joint venture between TotalEnergies Marketing South Africa and Sasol Oil, which holds the rest of the stake with a 63.64 percent interest.

The transaction is subject to customary approvals, consents and authorizations, TotalEnergies said in a news release Friday.“The transaction is in line with the company strategy to focus on its large integrated fuels and petrochemicals platforms and to divest its non-core assets” TotalEnergies Chief Financial Officer Jean-Pierre Sbraire said.

Sasol said in a separate news release that Natref will continue to operate as usual while the transaction progresses through the various regulatory approvals and closing conditions. The company said it “remains committed to safe and reliable operations at Natref and will continue to invest to meet the Clean Fuels 2 regulations”.

Donation of $25 Million to Methane Fund

Meanwhile, at the COP28 climate summit in the United Arab Emirates, TotalEnergies announced a donation of $25 million over 2024-2030 to the Global Flaring and Methane Reduction (GFMR) trust fund, an initiative of the World Bank.

The GFMR’s mission is to boost global efforts to end routine gas flaring and reduce methane emissions to the greatest extent possible along the entire oil and gas value chain by providing technical assistance, enabling policy and regulatory reform, strengthening institutions, and mobilizing finance to support action by governments and oil and gas operators.

“Methane is key in the fight against climate change this decade. At COP27, I called on all Oil & Gas companies, national and international, to join the OGMP 2.0 [Oil and Gas Methane Partnership] and work toward zero methane emissions. At COP28, 50 companies representing 40 percent of global oil production have embarked in the Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter pledge: the momentum is there and TotalEnergies is proud to be a signatory of this charter”, TotalEnergies Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné said in a statement Sunday.

“Building on the legacy of our successful support of the World Bank’s ‘Zero Routine flaring’ initiative, I am glad that TotalEnergies is renewing and increasing its support with its contribution to this new ambitious GFMR trust fund. TotalEnergies was the first international company to answer positively to the World Bank call for funding as we are confident that this program will allow concrete actions with real and significant effects on methane emissions reduction”, Pouyanné added.

TotalEnergies said it believes that it is the industry’s responsibility to reduce methane emissions to near zero by 2030. The company was a founding member of the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GGFR) partnership and endorsed the “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” initiative that was launched in 2015, according to the statement. The initiative has been endorsed by over 100 governments, oil and gas companies and development institutions.

“Taking quick and decisive action on methane emissions could avoid as much as 0.1 degrees C of warming by mid-century – equivalent to zeroing out the emissions of every car and truck in the world”, said Demetrios Papathanasiou, Global Director of the World Bank’s Energy and Extractives Global Practice. “With GFMR we will support countries with the least capacity and resources to address methane emissions, while also leveraging billions of dollars of private sector finance”.

TotalEnergies is also one of the international oil companies that signed the Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter (OGDC) at COP28. A total of 50 oil and gas companies representing more than 40 percent of global oil production signed the charter, which aims to have its signatories achieve net-zero operations by 2050 at the latest, end routine flaring by 2030, and have near-zero upstream methane emissions.