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Judgment Expected On Shell Seismic Survey Case

The Makhanda High Court is expected to deliver judgment in the Shell seismic survey case on Friday.

Four organisations filed an urgent court bid to slam the brakes on the oil and gas company carrying out these tests, citing irreparable harm to the marine environment.

During the survey, the seismic vessel, will discharge pressurised air from its airgun that generates sound waves, directed towards the seabed.

The applicants put forward that not all interested and affected parties were informed about the granting of the exploration rights, nor were its two subsequent renewals. If they had known, then they would have had an opportunity to appeal it.

Shell swears that it gave notice to relevant parties about its planned seismic survey off the coast of the Eastern Cape.

The applicants in the matter, however, argue that giving “notice” falls short of what public participation should entail.

Depending on the weather, current and sea conditions, the seismic data acquisition has been scheduled from 1 December and is set to last for around four months.

Shell has argued that the vessel conducting these tests for potential oil and gas extraction, is on its way to the location to commence with the seismic data acquisition, saying that a delay at this stage would cause irreparable harm to the company and its partners.