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Please join us: 20 days to Appeal against West Coast seismic survey.

ONO was advised today (6 January 2023) by EIMS, the environmental assessor for Searcher, that the Director General of Minerals and Energy has granted the go ahead for the Proposed Searcher Seismic Survey Project on Block 1518, located offshore extending from approximately 256km offshore of St Helena Bay to 220km offshore of Hondeklip Bay, off the West Coast, South Africa.

ONO intends appealing this decision for all the reasons stated here. We have until the 26th of January to make an appeal. The appeal authority is the Minister of Forestries, Fisheries and Environment, or whomever she decrees. You would need to email her, stating your grounds of appeal, including any supporting documentation:

  • submitted in writing in the form obtainable from the appeal administrator; and accompanied by-
  • a statement setting out the grounds of appeal;
    supporting documentation which is referred to in the appeal submission; and
  • a statement, including supporting documentation, by the appellant to confirm compliance with regulation 4(1) of these Regulations.

An appeal, must be submitted to the Appeals Administrator whose contact details are presented below:

1 – Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Appeals and Legal Review Directorate
Attention: Director: Appeals and Legal Review
Email: appeals@dffe.gov.za

Post: Private Bag X 447, Pretoria, 0001
By Hand: Environmental House, Corner Steve Biko and Soutpansberg Street, Arcadia, Pretoria, 0083

2 – Copy(s) of the lodged appeal(s) to the Petroleum Agency SA Attention: The Chief Executive Officer
Email: EAappeals@petroleumagencysa.com
Post: Private Bag X 5111, Tygervalley, 7536

By Hand: Tygerpoort Building, 7 Mispel Road, Belville, 7530

3 – Copy(s) of the lodged appeal(s) to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy Attention: Director: Legal Services

Email: Pieter.Alberts@dmre.gov.za
Post: Private Bag X 59, Arcadia, 0007
By Hand: Trevenna Campus Building 2C, c/o Meintjies and Francis Baard Street, Sunnyside, 0007

Herewith you’ll find the authorisation document and the notification from EIMS.

Pic: Stranded penguin washed up when Shell begun their survey of the Wild Coast, before the court interdict stopped them. Can we afford any more penguin deaths?

This page was updated to change the appeals email address from a .co.za address to a .gov.za address.

PLEASE USE THIS FORMAT ( Appeal form below- fill in first column) FOR YOUR APPEAL:

11 thoughts on “Please join us: 20 days to Appeal against West Coast seismic survey. Leave a comment

  1. Not enough impact studies to inform us off any disruption to our eco systems and if allowed would ruin our tourism in that area leading to job loss

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    • When Shell dit their survey at the Wild Coast it had a devastating effect on the marine life, stop this nonsense!!!

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  2. If done correctly and without disturbing the wildlife in the area in any way, no problem. But a 3rd party independently to verify the method proposed needs to be agreed upon by a reputable organization like Greenpeace or Sea Shepherd, no government affiliation at all.
    To blatantly deny exploration is hypocritical.

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    • For those needing the science as to how seismic surveys affect marine life please see this link: https://oceansnotoil.org/environmental-impacts/ . It is for these reasons, plus consequential global warming, sea level rise, ocean acidification and deoxygenation that come with further emissions from new exploration and consumption of oil and methane, plus the socio-economic impacts on vulnerable communities of these climate extremes that Oceans Not Oil objects. We don’t believe this objection to be ‘hypocritical’ but in the interests of environmental and marine justice. We support the Climate Justice Charter for South Africa for a transformed energy and food outlook. Our reasoning is based on science. We agree that environmental assessors should be employed independently and not by the very oil corporates whose projects they assess.

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      • The oil companies follow the law of the land if it is enforced fairly. Same thing if you are driving, if there is no consequence of driving fast, we will all drive fast.
        My observation is that we need the energy and to rely on oil from countries where there is no law, does not solve the problem, it only moves it to another place in the world. I am trying to solve the problem, not shift it.
        I have worked in the oil and gas industry for 10+years now and have seen some of the good and bad, Kazakhstan, Russia, Nigeria, Iraq. We all want the energy and do not want to see where it comes from, that is the hypocritical I am talking about.
        I live in Langebaan(20+ years) and really do not want to see more pollution than there is already.
        What I am suggesting is that we force the energy companies to develop a good and safe technology. In this way we can control the outcome.
        Hypothetically the government can keep on increasing the petrol price, declare that we need local energy and then commit to seismic tests via force majeure or referendum or just declare the people who economically hamper the progress of SA economical terrorists. That has happened in other countries, it can happen in SA.
        My suggestion is to talk to the oil companies/government refuse all exploration which is damaging. Force the companies to create the technology to explore but not disturb.
        One of the projects I worked on was in Kazakhstan, the field does about 400 000b/d is highly complex. Probably the most complex and dangerous field in the world. It is built in the middle of the Caspian Sturgeon estuary(where most of the black caviar comes from in the world) because of the environmental conditions and impact this development had the industry spent $+-100B to develop it. The Kazakh and Russian governments only allowed the development under very strict rules, and it is very well enforced. Even the flaring is tightly controlled. It gave local population of 15000-20000 people jobs for 12years short term and about 5000 long term. Trained more than 2000 engineers.
        SA needs something like that, if it is done right. If Kazakhstan can do it, so can SA

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      • Wonderful to continue the conversation.
        3 RSA court cases involving offshore applications recently (South Durban Community Environmental Alliance et al. V Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries & Others, (2021) case (29433/21 ); C.J. Adams et al. V Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy & Others, (2022) case (1306/22 and Sustaining the Wild Coast NPC et al. V Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy & Others, 2021 case (3491/2021) ) contest the claim that oil companies “follow the law of the land”. A Google Earth Satellite browse of the Niger Delta should also put the idea of an environmentally compliant oil and gas industry to bed for you. The older the infrastructure, the less profitable, the greater the trend of abandonment and environmental injustice.

        The Caspian Sea has a multibillion dollar industry and eyes all around it to ensure compliance. South Africa currently does not have a marine corps or coast guard- crazy when the EEZ has a bigger footprint than the land. 

In a burning, flooding, icy, wind-torn world where “people who have never got in a car or an airplane in their lives will be the ones who suffer the most; they are suffering the most already “(Quincy Saul, Nov 2022) the petro-industry is no longer just an issue of mitigation. The industry has a century of engagement with engineers who have now taken us to the brink of planetary tipping points and are gung-ho to push past them. It is now an urgent issue of energy transformation – to sustainable energies with no further emissions.

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      • Yes, thanks for continuing. You do not have to make this public if you do not want to.
        I do know that there is problems but let me expand on your statements an maybe you will understand, not agree but at least see the point of view. Also my arguments are not aggressive but just what I have seen. Disclaimer as I am writing this I am sitting at a gas production facility about 40km SW of Basra in Iraq, but that is part of it, I will end with that.
        With regards to SA. Yes we have a corrupt and incapable government not able to enforce the law. But we need to develop those capabilities before we allow any exploration or extraction. What a better opportunity to do that then when you have the upper hand. Force those with the money to invest and develop new technology first.
        In Kazakhstan (KZ) that is exactly what the government did, ENI/Shell/Total/CNPC was forced to make huge investments in technology for protecting the sturgeon and Caspian seals. Also to create the tech to construct a facility in those conditions. KZ is about double the size of SA with a population of 18m. It is huge arid and empty. Nobody knows what is going on in the North Caspian which is more than a quarter the size of ZA, it is so big it is actually salty. The satellite pictures and tech we have to look for oil spills was developed for the Kashagan project, that is the only reason anybody knows what is going on there.
        Niger delta, I can send you video’s of flying over it. Most, all I think, of the spills there are very old. You can see it on the water still in the videos I took. Most of modern day oil exploration and extraction technology was developed there and probably all the modern spills are from piracy where local people either cut into pipes to tap into them or remove the seals from old capped wells.(not an easy task, you need explosives and your own militia) also the environment in the Niger delta is completely different to SA.
        All industry has changed hugely in the last 20-30years. You really cannot compare industry HSE from what happened in the past in Nigeria to SA or even modern Nigeria.
        Which brings me to Iraq, SA has 60m people and we need fuel for cars, electricity, factories, tar for roads, basically oil for clothes/medicine/packaging/furniture and to build houses. Modern day society can not currently manage without oil for energy and its by products.
        So we do not have oil so we take it from others which because we do not want to develop our own makes us complicit in the damage we have done and are doing in their countries. So we want to use oil but lets use somebody else and not care where it comes from. So I do not like to be a hypocrite thats why I want to see the development of SA oil correctly. Most of SA oil comes from Iran but the oil production from Basra region (100x100km) is about the same as the whole of Iran. My point is that whatever happens in Iraq it effects our oil price so if oil production stops here we pay more.
        So because of the biggest 3 wars in this area, nobody cares. About 130 children died last year in this area due to the remains of unexploded devices mainly dropped or placed here by America/England. This is one of the most irradiated places on earth due to dust from depleted uranium weapons. Cancer is off the chart due to that and air pollution because the western governments would not allow Iraq to stop production, if the oil companies stop production for repairs, the militia arrives due to western influence forcing them.

        If you let things get out of hand it really get bad, if you bar exploration at some point you will loose control over it. If you control it you are in charge.
        You cannot stop it, SA will get worse and control less.

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  3. We have been visiting Mosselbay for more than 25 years. Never in my life have I seen so many dead sea animals wash out on the shore like the past December 2022. Something is wrong!

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