A top official at South Africa’s upstream regulator has warned that if anti-fossil fuel campaign groups succeed in their aim of stopping all offshore seismic surveys, then the country “can kiss goodbye” to any of the benefits of oil and gas developments.

In December 2021, Shell was stopped from completing a seismic shoot offshore the Wild Coast in the Indian Ocean by a judge at Gqeberha High Court and is still awaiting the outcome of an appeal.

Then, in February, Australian contractor Searcher Seismic was prevented from starting a 2D seismic survey in the Orange basin off the west coast by a judge in the Western Cape, losing an appeal one month later.