Durban- An environmental impact assessment report into exploratory offshore drilling near the coasts of Durban and Richards Bay has been released by Environmental Resources Management, which states that the contentious expedition will have a minor impact on the environment.
The consulting company does environmental, health and risk assessments.
Sasol and Italian oil and gas exploration company Eni South Africa BV (Eni) are looking to explore for “hydrocarbons” at up to six water wells off the coast of Durban and Richards Bay next year.
Numerous public hearings have been held about the oil exploration, which at times have become volatile as community members and environmentalists expressed their anger at the proposed venture.
In the 333-page draft report, it said the ecosystem within a radius of 200 metres would be affected. The report also said helicopter flights to the drilling vessel will generate noise that could affect seabirds on the coast.“Low altitude flights over the ocean could also affect marine mammals and turtles in surface waters in the Project Area,” the report said.