As expected, the final draft of the Petroleum Bill provides for the state to have a carried interest of 20% in oil permits. Energy companies are hoping to get the National Assembly, which will examine the bill over the next few weeks, to modify this provision.
The French major says it has suspended the preliminary process of drilling a new well on its South African block to allow it to focus on two existing discoveries. But the move is actually aimed at stepping up pressure on Pretoria.
The South African magnate and boss of Switzerland-based Richemont, one of the world's leading luxury goods companies, is a natural target for the tax authorities of his native land, who are looking to increase their returns from extremely wealthy taxpayers.
To try to limit the impact of the recession which is looming after several months of public health crisis, the South African government is banking on the prospect of gas revenues to come and has rolled out the red carpet for Total.