Creecy gives go-ahead for TotalEnergies to drill off Cape West Coast for gas and oil

  • Reuters reported yesterday that South Africa’s environment ministry has given the go-ahead for TotalEnergies to drill offshore for gas and oil, after rejecting an appeal from more than a dozen individuals and lobby groups who intend challenging the decision.
  • TotalEnergies, the operator with a 40% stake, and partners Shell, also with 40%, and national oil company PetroSA holding the remaining 20%, propose drilling up to five exploration wells in the block which covers aorund 10000 square km within 60 km from the coast at its closest point and 170 km at its furthest.
  • The country’s minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy, dismissed all the applicants concerns in the detailed 144-page ruling.
  • Objecting parties can apply for a judicial review within 180 days.

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) Decided to grant environmental authorisation to TotalEnergies (TEEPSA) to drill wells in April 2023 to much protest. Two of the lobby groups EMS Foundation (EMS) and the Climate Justice Charter Movement (CJCM) appealed the environmental authorisation. Read more 

The Department of Environmental Affairs officials acknowledged receipt of the appeal presented by Cullinan and Associates, environmental lawyers acting for the EMS Foundation and the Climate Justice Charter Movement on Wednesday the 10th of May 2023. Both appellants are registered Interested and Affected Parties and have previously submitted comments in respect of the Scoping Report and the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment.

Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Barbara Creecy. Image credit: STADSIA

The Green Connection argued that granting the license was irresponsible as there are risks associated with a major oil spill, which they highlighted in the Draft Scoping Report. “This could have devastating consequences for ocean and coastal ecosystems, coastal communities and the Cape,” said the eco-justice organisation.

Link to the full drilling application HERE 

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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