‘Nothing short of abusive,’ says Shell on court bid to stop its seismic testing

Four environmental and human rights organisations are asking the Makhanda High Court to block the petroleum giant from starting with operations on Wednesday.

FILE: Shell's seismic testing was to start on Wednesday, and it would last for around four months. Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - Shell has argued that an urgent application to stop seismic testing along the Wild Coast is "nothing short of abusive".

Four environmental and human rights organisations are asking the Makhanda High Court to block the petroleum giant from starting with operations on Wednesday.

Shell intends using compressed air to create images of layers of rock below the seafloor in its search for oil and gas.

Shell's seismic testing was to start on Wednesday, and it would last for around four months.

The company said there had been around 325 seismic surveys conducted globally, without any reports of death or irreversible harm to marine life.

However, advocate Willie Duminy - on behalf of the environmental groups - argued that if harm was done to the environment, it would be irreparable.

Shell said to date, no research showed serious injury, death or the stranding of marine mammals due to seismic surveys.