Continental Focus, International Reach

ENI/Sasol Exploration off South Africa’s Coast Blocked

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Exploration off the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) coast by Italian oil major ENI and local conglomerate Sasol will not move forward now, according to reports out of the country. Despite public outcry in opposition to drilling, in September the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) granted authorization to ENI and Sasol to drill up to six wells in this environmentally sensitive area.

Exploration will be halted, at least for now, as The WildOceans conservation alliance lodged an appeal with Minister of Environmental Affairs, Forestry & Fisheries Barbara Creecy. The environmental group says that further studies need to be conducted in the region prior to exploration to assure that catastrophic environmental damage is avoided and that plans are in place in the event of an oil spill.

The 82,117 sq km Block ER236 was awarded to Sasol by the Petroleum Agency of South Africa (PASA) in 2013. ENI later farmed-in to the block.