The French major is planning on kickstarting the exploration campaign by drilling one well, and depending on its success, will drill a further nine wells soon thereafter.
International environmental consultancy firm SLR Consulting is currently conducting an environmental assessment. The area of interest has been met with ongoing community and environmental opposition with activists criticizing previous consultation processes. However, with the environmental assessment underway, and the government regulator in charge of licensing pledging to improve outreach processes, both community and environmental protection has been placed at the forefront.
For South Africa, the potential discovery of hydrocarbons in the Orange Basin comes at a time when the country continues to face uncertainty regarding prices and supplies owing to volatility in global energy markets and rapidly increasing demand in the domestic market. As such, the exploration campaign could bring online the supplies the country needs to create stability and ensure security for years to come.