French oil giant, Total, says it has suspended oil exploration in South Africa due to a mechanical failure on the company’s rig.

“We had to suspend offshore drilling because the rig was operating in difficult wind and ocean current conditions,” said Guy Maurice, Total Senior vice President for exploration and production in Africa according to Reuters.

A date for the resumption of drilling is yet to be announced. But Total says it will continue to work tirelessly to return operations back to usual. Total only started drilling on the field – located 175km off the southern coast of South Africa – around mid June.

The suspension will hamper South Africa’s plans of sourcing more its oil locally. It currently imports about 70 percent of its consumption need from other African producers and the Middle East.

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