South Africa

Another blow for Shell in South Africa

Shell lost an appeal in a South African court that sought to overturn a judgment blocking an offshore seismic survey opposed by environmental groups.

The groups won a case in 2021 that halted the exploration activity in an area known as the Wild Coast over concerns that communities were not properly consulted and of the impact the survey would have on the climate, local residents and marine life.

Shell appealed the decision.

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal on Monday, according to a summary of the judgment.

However, it suspended the orders setting aside the granting of the exploration right and each of the two renewals in 2017 and 2021, pending the finalization of the third renewal.

Activists in South Africa have had multiple victories in court against oil exploration activity, while the government has argued that opposing the activity limits economic development.

Shell and TotalEnergies have made recent discoveries just across its maritime border in neighbouring Namibia.

South African Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has specifically defended oil exploration, citing numerous seismic surveys done in recent years. He was also an appellant in the appeal.


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