With these two shale gas acquisitions adding more than 10 trillion standard cubic feet of contingent resources to Sasol's upstream portfolio, Sasol and Talisman have commenced with a feasibility study on a gas-to-liquids facility in Western Canada.
SPI advances global exploration activities
Over the past eight months Sasol Petroleum International (SPI) has stepped up its global exploration and appraisal activities and participated in drilling campaigns in Papua New Guinea (PNG), Mozambique and Australia. In this campaign, SPI participated in the drilling of four exploration wells: Awapa-1 in Papua New Guinea (SPI operated, cost share 51%), North Save-1 and Falcao-1 in Mozambique (SPI operated, cost share 100%) and La Rocca-1 in Australia (SPI non-operated, fully carried 18% cost share).
Unfortunately all four wells failed to prove the presence of commercial hydrocarbons, but were drilled on budget and schedule. This disappointment should be seen in the light of the upstream success enjoyed in Mozambique over many years.While active cost-exposure mitigation measures have been taken in Australia (via the farm-out of 12% equity to Apache for a "cost carry" arrangement in La Rocca-1), and in PNG (via a farm-out of 10% cost share to Mitsui, pending government approval), current indications are that dry well costs totalling US$50-55 million will impact the 2011 financial results. On the Mozambique appraisal drilling campaign, we are pleased to announce that the Inhassoro-9Z horizontal well encountered hydrocarbon-bearing sands on prognosis. A short-term well test flowed liquid hydrocarbons to surface and at present SPI is planning to conduct a long-term well test (LWT). In the event that the LWT proves sustainable economic rates, we will consider full-scale development. Update on growth projects Uzbekistan GTL In December 2009, Uzbekistan GTL LLC was incorporated. This is a joint venture between Sasol, Petronas and Uzbekneftegaz (UNG), with each party holding a one-third interest. The purpose of Uzbekistan GTL LLC is to study the commercial and technical viability of a GTL plant in Uzbekistan with a nominal capacity of approximately 38 000 bbl/d. The project is nearing the end of the feasibility study stage, which represents a key decision milestone. Petronas has indicated its intention to reduce its participation to 11%. Securing project finance and currency convertibility will be key criteria as we consider whether to move to the next stage. The GTL project has key strategic importance for Uzbekistan and enjoys the continued support of that government. Sasol and UNG are currently reviewing the implications of Petronas's intention to reduce its shareholding in the joint venture. We expect to make a decision on the next phase of the project in the second half of the 2011 calendar year. India CTL In February 2009, the Indian Government awarded the North of Arkhapal coal block in Orissa province (which contains an estimated 1,5 billion tons of coal) to Strategic Energy Technology Systems Private Limited (SETSPL), for the purpose of developing a coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant. SETSPL is a 50:50 joint venture between Sasol and the Tata Group. In January 2010, SETSPL launched a pre-feasibility study into developing a plant with capacity of 90 000 bbl/d, some 200 kilometres from the coast in Talcher, Orissa. The study is progressing well and a drilling programme to verify coal quality assumptions is currently being executed to enable decision making to progress to the next stage. Improved market conditions, solid operational performance and cost containment to benefit operating profit in FY 2011 Although Sasol Synfuels achieved an exceptional production performance in the third quarter, constraints on plant availability in the fourth quarter will make it difficult to achieve our full year target of 7,2 million tons of production. We therefore believe that, at this stage, 7,1 million tons is a more realistic target for the full year. Oryx GTL remains on track to achieve a full year utilisation rate of between 80% and 90% of nameplate capacity. Arya Sasol Polymers is expected to achieve a full year average utilisation rate of approximately 80% for the ethane cracker as well as the two downstream polyethylene plants.