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Shell Seeks to Drill Holes in South Africa’s Oceans: Because Why Not?

Posted by John Donovan: 9 July 2024

In today’s episode of “Shell’s Next Big Environmental Screw-Up,” the oil giant is seeking government permission to drill up to five offshore wells off the west coast of South Africa. That’s right, folks—because clearly, our oceans aren’t polluted enough, and the wildlife isn’t nearly as threatened as it could be.

Environmental Circus:

According to a draft scoping report from environmental consultancy SLR, Shell Offshore Upstream South Africa B.V. and its partners are eagerly awaiting the green light from the government to start wreaking havoc in the Northern Cape Ultra Deep Block (NCUD) in the Orange Basin. This region’s depths range from 2,500 to 3,200 meters—perfect for deep-sea drilling and even deeper levels of corporate irresponsibility.

Why the Sudden Interest?

Well, because Namibia’s Orange Basin has recently turned into a treasure trove of oil discoveries. And where there’s oil, there’s Shell, sniffing out profits like a bloodhound. The Orange Basin’s allure has even caught the eye of TotalEnergies, another oil behemoth with a thirst for environmental chaos.

Permission Pending:

Before Shell can start their underwater excavations, they need an environmental authorization from the government. This means someone, somewhere, has to sign off on turning a chunk of the ocean into an oil-slicked mess. Fingers crossed that common sense prevails—but then again, when has that ever stopped Shell?

So, here’s to Shell, always pushing the envelope on what’s possible in the realm of corporate audacity. Drilling off South Africa’s coast? Why the hell not?

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