21 October 2015, Johannesburg – The South African Department of Environmental Affairs has issued an environmental authorisation for Shell South Africa Upstream B V’s proposed exploration drilling in the Orange Basin Deep Water Licence Area, off South Africa’s west coast.
This gives Shell permission to drill up to two offshore exploration wells in the northern portion of the licence area, which covers about 37 290km². Successful exploration of gas will be a major step towards the diversification of South Africa’s energy mix.
Offshore oil and gas exploration is also part of Operation Phakisa, a government initiative to unlock the economic potential of South Africa’s oceans.
In 2012 the Department of Mineral Resources granted Shell the exploration right in the Orange Basin.
In February 2013, Shell completed a 3D seismic survey in an 8 000km² area in the licence area. Based on seismic data analysis, Shell has proposed to drill one or possibly two wells in the area. The drilling of the second well would depend on the success of the first, the report said.