A French geophysical contractor has filed a controversial plan to acquire 3D seismic data offshore South Africa, a move likely to attract the opprobrium of environmental campaign groups determined to stop such activities in the country.

Last September, a judge refused to approve a plan by Shell to acquire seismic data over a promising block off the country’s south coast after anti-fossil fuel campaigners challenged initial approval of the operation.

Three months later, the supermajor was granted leave to appeal to South Africa’s Supreme Court with hearings expected to take place later this year.