Independent Online

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Namibian Court allows ReconAfrica to continue oil and gas exploration

An environmental group had seeked an order from the court for an Interim Interdict which would restrain the ReconAfrica and joint venture partners, the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR), from continuing with its oil exploration activities. REUTERS/Abdiqani Hassan (PUNTLAND - Tags: ENERGY BUSINESS)

An environmental group had seeked an order from the court for an Interim Interdict which would restrain the ReconAfrica and joint venture partners, the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR), from continuing with its oil exploration activities. REUTERS/Abdiqani Hassan (PUNTLAND - Tags: ENERGY BUSINESS)

Published Aug 2, 2022

Share

Cape Town - The High Court of Namibia has issued a judgment to allow Canadian oil and gas company Reconnaissance Africa (ReconAfrica) and its partners to continue with its oil and gas exploration campaign despite environmental concerns.

According to a statement released by African Energy Week (AEW), a group of environmental organisations lodged a case against the ReconAfrica joint venture along with the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Environmental Commissioner, the Commissioner for Petroleum Affairs and the Attorney General for the Republic of Namibia.

Story continues below Advertisement

The group had sought an order from the court for an Interim Interdict which would restrain the ReconAfrica and joint venture partner, the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR), from continuing with exploration activities which were authorised by the Environmental Clearance Certificate Amendments issued by the Environmental Commissioner.

“Represented by Namibian-based law firm, SNC Incorporated, the judgment will see ReconAfrica continue exploring petroleum exploration license number 73 (PEL 73), a key frontier prospect in the high potential northeastern region of Namibia,” read the statement.

SNC Incorporated raised preliminary points, noting that the applicants lacked the legal standing to bring the matter before the court; and that the court had no powers to grant the relief sought by the applicants.

On July 29, Justice Thomas Masuku delivered the judgment, upholding SNC Incorporated’s preliminary points.

“This was a big win for our client ReconAfrica and its joint-venture partner NAMCOR because it enables them to continue with the ongoing drilling programme for well 8-2 and other oil and gas exploration activities for PEL 73.

“The positive court outcome for our client bears witness to SNC Incorporated’s ability to advise and represent international energy and mining companies undertaking projects in Namibia and the rest of Africa,” said Managing Partner of SNC Incorporated, Shakwa Nyambe.

Story continues below Advertisement

Furthermore, the African Energy Chamber (AEC) commends the judgment issued by the High Court of Namibia, recognising the decision as key to making energy poverty history by 2030 in Africa.

The AEC added that as one of the final frontiers for oil and gas exploration globally, Namibia’s hydrocarbon reserves have a critical role to play in improving electrification, revenue generation, industrialization and overall socio-economic growth in Africa.

“Environmentalists successfully blocked a key offshore seismic program in South Africa this year, preventing the country from addressing its energy crisis and lifting people out of poverty.

Story continues below Advertisement

“The AEC is glad to see that the Namibian courts are not taking the same path, but rather, they are committed to making energy poverty history in Africa,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairperson of the AEC.

IOL

Share