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TotalEnergies to fight to explore for gas and oil

Publish date: 13 May 2024
Issue Number: 1076
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Energy

TotalEnergies and the South African Government have decided to oppose a bid by environmental groups Natural Justice and The Green Connection to set aside the government’s decision to grant it the right to drill offshore for gas and oil. A Business Day report says the environmental groups have dragged TotalEnergies and the Ministers of Forestry, Fisheries & the Environment, and Mineral Resources & Energy to court in their official capacities to set aside a decision to grant an environmental authorisation to the company to conduct exploratory drilling off the southwest coast of SA between Cape Town and Cape Agulhas. It is understood the government departments and TotalEnergies have informed the environmental lobby groups that they will oppose their application, first announced in March. The grounds put forward by The Green Connection and Natural Justice for the review application are that the government neglected to take into account the socio-economic effects on local fisheries of a potential oil spill. The entities said that the state ignored the climate change implications associated with oil or gas usage, and that they were concerned about the lack of a proper evaluation of oil spill blowout contingency plans. The Green Connection and Natural Justice charge that the government did not do justice to the requirements of the Integrated Coastal Management Act, and ignored the effects of the drilling activities extending to Namibia and international waters. ‘We do not agree that a French oil company should be allowed to come here to plunder and destroy our ocean for oil and gas, which could also devastate the livelihoods of the small-scale fishers who depend on it,’ said The Green Connection’s Neville van Rooy.

Full Business Day report

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