TEEPSA - ESIA for Exploration Well Drilling in Block Deep Water Orange Basin off the West Coast of South Africa

25 October 2023 | Client: TotalEnergies EP South Africa B.V. (TEEPSA)

TotalEnergies EP South Africa B.V. (TEEPSA) is the operator for the Deep Water Orange Basin (DWOB) Licence Block (12/3/343 ER), located off the West Coast of South Africa. The eastern border of the Licence Block is located between approximately 150 km and 188 km off the West Coast, roughly between Saldanha Bay (33°S) and Kleinzee (30°S), with water depths ranging from 400 m to 3 900 m. The area for the DWOB Licence Block is 29 869 km2 in extent and the northern boundary of the Licence Block is located along the international boundary with Namibia.
TEEPSA is proposing to undertake various exploration activities within the DWOB Licence Block, including:

- Sonar bathymetry surveys throughout the year;
- Drop core sampling; and
- Exploration well drilling.

TEEPSA proposes to drill one exploration well, and success dependent, up to nine additional wells within the Area of Interest within the Block (i.e., up to ten wells in total). The Area of Interest for exploration drilling is 9 711.21 km2 in extent and is located offshore roughly between Port Nolloth and Hondeklip Bay, approximately 188 km from the coast at its closest point and 340 km at its furthest, in water depths between 750 m and 3 100 m.

These proposed exploration activities trigger several listed activities in terms of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations 2014 (as amended), and as such requires an Environmental Authorisation (EA) before such activities can commence. TEEPSA, as the Operator of the Block, is the applicant for the Environmental Authorisation.

SLR Consulting (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd (SLR) has been appointed as the independent Environmental Assessment Practitioner (EAP) to undertake a full Scoping and EIA process for the proposed exploration activities (hereafter collectively referred to as “Environmental and Social Impact Assessment” or “ESIA” process).


On behalf of TotalEnergies EP South Africa B.V. (TEEPSA), notice is hereby given that on 23 October 2023 the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) granted an Environmental Authorisation for the above-mentioned project in terms of the National Environment Management Act, 1998 (No. 107 of 1998) (NEMA) and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations 2014. This provides TEEPSA with authorisation to, inter alia, undertake sonar surveys, seabed coring and well drilling exploration activities within the area of interest in Block DWOB.

Your attention is drawn to your right to lodge a formal appeal against the decision in terms of the National Appeal Regulations, 2014. An appellant must, within 20 calendar days from the date that the notification of the decision was sent to Interested and Affected Parties (I&APs) (i.e. 20 days from 25 October 2023) lodge an appeal. Details of the appeal process are included in the notification letter available for download below.

Furthermore, additional correspondence from TEEPSA is available below which provides information regarding the current and previous administrative decisions that have been issued in respect of Block DWOB and the associated internal appeal processes applicable to these administrative decisions.

Final Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Report