South Africa court halts Shell’s oil exploration
A South African court has halted oil giant Shell’s seismic testing for oil and gas along the country’s eastern coastline, pending a final ruling.
The decision has been hailed by environmentalists who fear that the sound blasting will harm marine life.
Shell said it had “paused” operations while it reviewed the judgement.
South Africa’s Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe had condemned the project’s critics, saying they wanted to deprive Africa of energy resources.
In his ruling, High Court Judge Gerald Bloem said that Shell’s right to explore the waters near the Wild Coast “was awarded on the basis of a substantially flawed consultation process”.
Justice Bloem added that experts had testified to the damage the testing could cause and Shell had not sufficiently challenged that.
Katherine Robinson from the non-governmental organization Natural Justice said the ruling was a “huge victory”, but added that the “struggle is not over”.
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