OIL SPILL MODEL FOR SOUTH AFRICA
At any given time, an average of 90% of the oceans around South Africa (our Exclusive Economic Zone – EEZ) are under lease for oil and gas exploration or extraction. Applications for exploratory and extractive drilling rights by oil and gas giants are being approved yet at the same time are being objected to by many stakeholders, including NGOs, coastal communities, and fishers. Unfortunately, this push-back by stakeholders appealing against decisions to approve drilling or exploration has been compromised by the lack of a realistic oil spill model to evaluate risks and impacts.
A South African, non-profit organisation (NPO), WILDTRUST, focused on the conservation of the natural world, has spearheaded a project titled “Oil Spill Model for South Africa’s Exclusive Economic Zone”, which aims to develop a model to predict the nature, behaviour, and trajectory of oil spilled from offshore oil and gas extraction, thereby providing realistic scenarios for future assessment of environmental, social, and economic risks of major blow-outs and routine spills from drilling sites being pursued in South Africa’s Ocean. The results of this study have been unpacked in this animation