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

07 May 2024 | 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).


Email: TEEPSA-DWOB@slrconsulting.com

Telephone: 021 461 1118


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.

The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) received eight compliant appeals during the appeal period. In terms of Section 43(6) of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (No. 107 of 1998) (NEMA), DFFE, as the appeals authority, “may, after considering such an appeal, confirm, set aside or vary the decision, provision, condition or directive, or to make any other appropriate decision”.

On behalf of TEEPSA, notice is hereby given that on 6 May 2024 DFFE issued its decision (dated 24 April 2024) on the appeals lodged against the above Environmental Authorisation.DFFE confirmed the Environmental Authorisation with the same conditions as appears in Section 5 of Appendix 1 of the Director-General’s Reasons for the decision.

However, the condition in Paragraph 5.5.3 of the Environmental Authorisation has been amended to require that drilling stops and that the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) and Petroleum Agency South Africa (PASA) are notified in the event that an archaeological site or shipwreck is revealed during the predrilling seabed survey. Additionally, a new condition has been included in Paragraph 5.5.9 of the Environmental Authorisation, which requires the applicant to appoint a liaison officer to keep communities informed of the activities at regular intervals and be available to address any questions and concerns. A copy of the Appeal Decision (in English) is available for download below.

Final Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Report