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Tourist Route – Station 3

Stations
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Google Maps Co-ordinates -34.181464973739054, 22.144785642132288

Tour Guide Tips and Information: Station 3

Read the Petroleum, Oil & Gas – A gift from the ocean Story on the pedestal or below.

Station 3 is located in Crook Square. The square is surrounded by historical buildings which were used as commercial buildings to export wool, ostrich feathers/skins and aloes of which De Marillic Building (1875) is the largest, the cranes to hoist produce off ox-wagons can still be seen today. There are several tourist related businesses where you can have something to eat and drink and do not miss out on the antique stores in the square area.

PETROLEUM, OIL & GAS – A GIFT FROM THE OCEAN

Millions of years ago plants, algae, and plankton sank to the seafloor and were covered by sediments. Through the ages, under high pressure and high temperatures, the remains of these organisms became trapped in pockets of methane gas and were transformed into fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and petroleum. Below the seabed off the coast south of Mossel Bay, this process happened as well – and gas and oil fields were created.

The oil and gas industry has for a long time played an important role in Mossel Bay. The establishment of a tank farm for fuel distribution – first in the Point area and later in Voorbaai – ensured availability of fuel. Supply to the tank farm was first done by rail, but today tanker ships deliver petroleum via the off-shore mooring points, from where the fuel is distributed in the southern Cape region.

Natural gas deposits were discovered in 1969 in the continental shelf complex off the southern Cape coast. After the international oil crisis in 1973, Mossgas was built by the South African government and the gas-to-liquid (GTL) program was initiated in 1987. In 1992 the plant became the third largest GTL refinery – one among five in the world. Since 2002 it has been owned by PetroSA. The refinery produces synthetical chemicals that fall into two groups: alcohols and low-aromatic distillates which are used in paint thinners. printing inks, disinfectants, cleaning fluids and packaging. The low-aromatic distillates are used in heating fuels, inks, surface coatings, wax polishes, spray lubricants and metal processing.

The refinery has, however, experienced gas resource shortages over the past few years and its future is uncertain. A recent major gas discovery, 175 km off the south Cape coast called the Brulpadda which has a predicted yield of up to 1 billion barrels of gas, is being investigated as a new source.

The PetroSA refinery is woven into the very fabric of the Mossel Bay community, and it has supported a wide range of initiatives designed to improve the quality of life among local communities.

To the next station

Proceed east down Bland Street to Station 4 (320 m). Along the way there are a good vantage points into the Mossel Bay Harbour. You will pass several tourism related businesses and historic buildings on both sides of Bland Street; Marine Hotel (1858) and Searle’s Manor (1902) – the raised stoep was used as platforms to load wagons. Turn left at the crossing of Bland and Mitchell Street to Station 4 at the entrance to the Goods Shed.
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