South Africa’s energy minister is determined the country ploughs ahead with oil and gas exploration and development activities, despite two recent court cases creating major obstacles to upstream operations.

Last week, a court in Western Cape province upheld a decision to ban a 2D seismic survey off the country’s west coast, saying it could adversely affect marine life and arguing the environmental impact process did not fully consult with all interested and affected parties.

Shell, meanwhile, is awaiting a date for a hearing on its seismic survey off the south coast that was hit by a temporary ban imposed by a court in the Eastern Cape, largely for the same reasons.