Namibian Deepwater Orange Basin

Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) 39

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report Update


Shell Namibia Upstream BV (Shell) has acquired a 90% controlling interest in Petroleum Exploration License 39 (PEL 39) located offshore Namibia. The license area measures 12,299km².

Baseline scientific studies and full Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for proposed seismic activities were conducted over the full the license area. These studies were conducted for Signet Petroleum Ltd (December 2011) and Spectrum (December 2013). Both these applications to proceed with the seismic surveys were approved by the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME).

Shell is proposing to conduct a 3D seismic survey in the northeastern portion of the licence area approximately 250km offshore of the Namibian coast. The survey is planned to commence in November 2014 and last for approximately 50 days. The survey could however commence as early as October 2014 or as late as January 2015 depending on the availability of a survey vessel as well as consideration for the presence of marine animals and fishing activities. The survey period could also be slightly longer or shorter due to operational reasons such as weather and equipment performance.  The survey would cover approximately 2,500km². Water depths in the survey area range from 1300m to 2500m (refer to the shaded area in Figure 1).

Environmental Resources Management Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd (ERM) has been appointed by Shell to undertake a full Impact Assessment (IA) and update the existing baseline studies.

Stakeholder Engagement
To inform the EIA Report Update a Background Information Document (BID) was distributed to stakeholders for an initial 21-day registration and comment period from 24 June 2014 to 14 July 2014. The registration and comment period were advertised in The Namibian and Die Republikein. Please find a link to the Background Information Document (BID) below.

A draft EIA Report Update was prepared and made available for comment from 16 July 2014 to 5 August 2014. This comment period is now closed. 

The final EIA Report Update will be submitted to the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) towards the end of August 2014. The final EIA Report Update contains details of the proposed activities and provides information on possible environmental and social impacts and specific mitigation and/or management measures to avoid/minimise these. The final report will be uploaded to this website upon submission to MME.

Figure 1: Location of PEL 39 area and proposed 3D survey area (green shading)


Background Information Document (BID) English

Background Information Document (BID) Afrikaans

Draft Environmental Impact Assessment Report Update

(The comment period for the Draft EIA Report Update has now closed)

Final Environmental Impact Assessment Report Update

Cover, Sign off page, Contents page

Executive Summary

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 2 - Project Description

Chapter 3 - Legal and Policy Framework

Chapter 4 - Approach and Methodology

Chapter 5 - Biophysical Environment

Chapter 6 -  Socioeconomic Baseline Conditions

Chapter 7 - Stakeholder Engagement

Chapter 8 - Impact Assessment

Chapter 9 - Environmental and Social Management Plan

Chapter 10 - Conclusion

Chapter 11 - References


Annexure A - SAIEA Independent Review of the Draft EIA Report

Annexure B - Fisheries Study

Annexure C - Marine Fauna Study

Annexure D - Marine Mammal Recording Form