You are here: Home Repository SAMREF Home Introduction


The Offshore Oil and Gas Environmental Research Collaboration Project was a project to implement Operation Phakisa’s Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration Initiative B3: Exploiting the broader research opportunities presented by offshore oil and gas exploration. This was achieved through the establishment of the South African Marine Research and Exploration Forum (SAMREF) on 29 January 2016. At the SAMREF launch ceremony, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Offshore Petroleum Association of South Africa (OPASA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate the goals of SAMREF, which are to:


1) Identify and take advantage of opportunities provided by oil and gas exploration activities and platforms, to gather important marine ecosystem data which would otherwise be difficult and expensive to obtain.


2) Facilitate new collaborative offshore studies that would increase South Africa’s state of knowledge of the offshore marine environment, related to renewable energy potential, marine biodiversity and ecology, climate change and ecosystem functioning.

Industry vessels and fixed platforms frequently put to sea and hence have the capacity to obtain and share such data. In turn, the marine research community has the knowledge and willingness to work with industry in order to get maximum potential from the data they are collecting.

The vision of the Operation Phakisa Oil and Gas Lab is to create an environment that promotes exploration in order to drill 30 exploration wells in the next 10 years while simultaneously maximising the benefits for South Africa.