Suit settlement puts areas of GoM off limits for seismic surveying

Offshore staff

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Litigation surrounding the use of seismic surveys in the Gulf of Mexico has resulted in an industry agreement to avoid the use of seismic tools in specific areas deemed important to whales and dolphins for 30 months.

An Associated Press report of the agreement says the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has determined the air gun noise reduced sperm whale feeding and affects groups of bottlenose dolphins.

The API, however, points out that noise from seismic surveying is comparable to much other natural and man-made noise in the water and that 40 years of seismic surveying and scientific research show no evidence that the seismic noise has injured any marine mammal species.

“We are pleased that the parties to this litigation were able to work together to resolve this matter,” said Erik Milito, API director of upstream and industry operations. “Industry looks forward to working with government regulators to ensure that seismic operations in the Gulf of Mexico continue to be conducted in an operationally effective and environmentally responsible manner.”

The areas affected are the Mississippi and DeSoto canyons and areas west of the Florida Keys and Torgugas. Near-coast waters visited by dolphins also are included.

The 30-month period will give the government time for environmental studies and give the industry time for research into alternatives, both required as part of the agreement, Michael Jasny, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Marine Mammal Protection Project told AP. His group, along with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Gulf Restoration Network, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Sierra Club, joined in suing BOEM to stop seismic surveys after the oil spill.

API, the International Association of Geophysical Contractors, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, and the U.S. Oil & Gas Association joined the federal government in the suit.

6/21/2013

Related Articles

US OCS Governors Coalition applauds BOEM leasing plan

Jan 30, 2015 North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, chairman of the OCS Governors Coalition, applauded the US Interior Department for its oil and gas leasing program that could include opportunities in the Atlant...

Kongsberg Maritime to expand facility in Louisiana

Jan 29, 2015

Kongsberg Maritime has purchased about 5.2 acres for the construction of an 82,980-sq ft (7,710-sq m) office and training facility in St. Rose, Louisiana. 

IAGC urges BOEM to move on existing Atlantic seismic permits

Jan 29, 2015 The International Association of Geophysical Contractors has urged action on existing Atlantic Ocean seismic survey permits following the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s release of its draft fi...

US BOEM offshore leasing program prioritizes GoM, proposes new Atlantic area

Jan 28, 2015 US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper announced the next step in the development of the nation’s Outer Continental Shel...

BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips team up in the GoM

Jan 28, 2015 BP has formed a new ownership and operating model with Chevron and ConocoPhillips to focus on moving two BP discoveries closer to development and provide expanded exploration access in the emerging...

Trending News

Kongsberg shows new pipeline repair real-time video camera

Mar 6, 2015

Kongsberg Maritime Camera Group has designed, manufactured, and delivered a new underwater video camera for use on an advanced subsea Remote Pipeline Repair System (RPRS). 

Analysis confirms prospectivity in Drombeg offshore Ireland

Mar 5, 2015

Providence Resources has provided an update on the review of its Lower Cretaceous Drombeg prospect in the southern Porcupine basin offshore southwest Ireland.

Major projects lift ExxonMobil’s global output

Mar 5, 2015

ExxonMobil expects to increase its global production by 2% this year to more than 4.1 MMboe/d, driven by 7% liquids growth.

Eirik Raude prepares to spud Zebedee offshore Falklands

Mar 5, 2015

The semisubmersible Eirik Raude has arrived in Stanley and will soon start a six-well campaign offshore the Falkland Islands.

Drilling under way at Morkel in North Sea

Mar 5, 2015

The semisubmersible Bredford Dolphin has spudded a well for Lundin Norway on the Morkel prospect in the Norwegian North Sea.

  Offshore
Digital Magazine
Look Inside
Cover
Current Issue

Oil & Gas Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>