Coast KZN

24 Jan 2018

Call for offshore drilling comment

Tamlyn Jolly (Zululand Observer) Picture: ER236, the section set aside for exploratory drilling

A public meeting will be held in Richards Bay on 6 February

After withdrawing the draft scoping report into the possibility of conducting an exploration drilling programme off South Africa’s east coast, ERM’s revised report is now ready for public comment.

Eni South Africa BV (Eni) and Sasol Africa Limited (Sasol) hold an Exploration Right 12/3/236 (ER 236), and Eni has the operatorship of Block ER 236.

The exploratory drilling programme is to assess the commercial viability of the hydrocarbon reservoir for future development.

The project requires Environmental Authorisation (EA) from the National Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) under the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) (Act No. 107 of 1998), as amended, through an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process.

In keeping with this process, the revised draft scoping report is available for comment.

One of the changes is that holders of ER 236 are considering drilling up to six exploratory wells instead of the four which were planned in the previous draft scoping report.

Stakeholders’ comments already received have been considered and included in the revised draft scoping report, in the Comments and Responses Report (CRR).

Stakeholders are encouraged to ensure their comments are captured in the CRR and are welcome to submit further comment to ERM, the company appointed to carry out the EIA.

The report is open to public comment from 22 January to 22 February.

It is available on the project website, as well as from the Richards Bay Library.

A series of public meetings have been scheduled, with the first taking place at 5.30pm on 6 February at Premier The Richards Hotel.

More information about the project will be available from the project team.