Client: Total E&P South Africa B.V. (TEPSA)
Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for proposed additional exploration drilling and associated activities in Block 11B/12B off the South Coast of South Africa
TOTAL E & P South Africa B.V. (TEPSA) is the operator of Licence Block 11B/12B and the main shareholder (45%) with Qatar Petroleum International Upstream LLC (25%); CNR International (South Africa) (20%) and Main Street 1549 (Pty) Ltd. (10%).
The northern boundary of the block is located between approximately 130 km and 45 km offshore of Mossel Bay and Cape St. Francis, respectively. The licence block is 18 734 km2 in extent and water depths range from roughly 110 m to 2 300 m.
TEPSA holds an existing Exploration Right and Environmental Authorisation (EA) which allows for the undertaking of a number of exploration activities, including two-dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D) seismic surveys, sonar bathymetry surveys and sediment sampling across the entire extent of Block 11B/12B, and drilling of up to ten wells in an area in the south-west portion of the block.
Since the first granting of the Exploration Right, a number of seismic surveys have been undertaken in the block and in 2018/2019 drilling of the Brulpadda exploration well was completed. This drilling operation was successful, yielding a significant gas condensate discovery. Due to this success, TEPSA is now proposing to undertake further exploration drilling and associated activities. The current application includes the following additional exploration activities:
- The drilling of up to ten additional exploration wells in a proposed new drill area in the eastern portion of the block;
- Controlled Source Electro-Magnetic Surveys (CSEM) to profile the presence of hydrocarbon resources; and
- The deployment of metocean buoys for data acquisition and acoustic monitoring.
These exploration activities trigger a number of listed activities in terms of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations, 2014 (as amended), and as such, an EA is required before such activities can commence. TEPSA, as the Operator of the Licence Block, will be the applicant for the EA.
SLR Consulting (South Africa) Pty Ltd has been appointed as the Independent Environmental Practitioner to undertake a full Scoping and ESIA process for the proposed exploration activities.
This letter serves to notify you that TOTAL E & P South Africa B.V. has decided to postpone their application for the additional drilling and associated activities in Block 11B/12B at this time. Thus, the application for Environmental Authorisation of the additional drilling and associated activities in Block 11B/12B has been withdrawn. Please refer to the notification letter included and media statement below for more information.