Approval of shell seismology in compliance with regulations,
Shell’s plans for seismic testing on South Africa’s wild coast, critics say threaten dolphins, seals, whales, penguins and other rare marine life, have received all necessary environmental approvals, the State’s Energy Minister said. Said in a letter to Congress.
In a written answer to a question released by Congress late Wednesday, Energy Minister Gwede Mantache said no shortcuts were taken in the process.
“As part of our exploration rights application, an environmental impact assessment was conducted in 2013 and there were no objections,” the letter said.
“All applicable legal requirements have been observed in granting exploration rights.”
On December 28, the South African High Court blocked Royal Dutch Shell from conducting seismic tests off the Wild Coast. This is the latest ruling in a case filed by environmental groups and residents against Shell.
Environmentalists and others have protested Shell’s seismic bombing program, stating that its underwater acoustics are harmful to marine animals, especially moving whales.
The Wild Coast constitutes some of South Africa’s most pristine natural coastlines and has some of the country’s most undisturbed marine wildlife sanctuaries, all of which attract major tourists.
Shell states that the planned exploration has all the necessary regulatory approvals and will contribute significantly to energy security if resources are found. South Africa is a net importer of petroleum products.
Government officials are keen to procure raw materials for refineries from state-owned Mossel Baygas to liquids.
Environmentalists are pressing oil companies to stop exploring oil everywhere. Experts say the world is unlikely to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, even if existing oil deposits are burned, not to mention new ones.
(Report by Tim Cocks, edited by Jane Merriman)
https://www.oedigital.com/news/493454-shell-seismic-survey-approval-complied-with-rules-s-africa-minister-says Approval of shell seismology in compliance with regulations,