NPD to begin summer seismic acquisition

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s (NPD) seismic acquisition activity is scheduled to start on June 29, with the vessel Geo Pacific acquiring 3D seismic data in Vesterålen (Nordland VII).

Offshore staff

STAVANGER -- The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s (NPD) seismic acquisition activity is scheduled to start on June 29, with the vessel Geo Pacific acquiring 3D seismic data in Vesterålen (Nordland VII). Acquisition activities in Troms II, to be carried out by the Ocean Explorer, will be delayed by a couple of days, the NPD says.

In order to make these surveys possible, the NPD has entered into buy-out agreements with about 100 fishers in the relevant areas. The agreement means that the fishers will be compensated for refraining from fishing at times when the activity could impede seismic acquisition. The fishers can still fish when the seismic survey vessels are not in their particular fishing areas.

The objective of the project is to study the startle effect of seismic surveys on a number of commercial fish species. This is the largest project of its kind, and is unique in a global context, the NPD says.

In addition to learning more about how different species of fish react to the seismic shock waves, researchers will study how long it takes for fishing to normalize after seismic data acquisition is completed.

The studies of the startle effect will be linked to acoustic measurements. The NPD has hired five fishing vessels to carry out test fishing before, during, and after the seismic survey activity.

The research vessel Håkon Mosby will also take part in the project, which is being carried out by the Institute of Marine Research, with financing from the budget allocated by the Storting (Norwegian Parliament) for the NPD's seismic acquisition activity.
The research project will be carried out in the northern part of the seismic survey area in Vesterålen (Nordland VII). Test fishing started as early as June 17, 12 days before the start of acquisition activity.

Last autumn, the Storting allocated $31 million to the NPD's summer 2009 data acquisition activities. Approximately $4.8 million will be used for the research project, while the buy-out scheme for fishers is estimated to cost about $2 to 2.3 million.

The Storting is the principal for the NPD's seismic data acquisition. Information from the NPD's surveys will form part of the factual basis when the comprehensive management plan is reconsidered in 2010. This summer's seismic data acquisition activity will complete the NPD's surveys in this area. The Storting has allocated a total of $64 million for the work.

The plan calls for the seismic data acquisition activities to conclude on August 9.

06/26/2009

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