Associations raise concerns in Atlantic OCS G&G comments

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s preferred alternative for new geologic and geophysical (G&G) activity on the South and Mid-Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf contains arbitrary and unnecessary restrictions, three national oil and gas associations said on May 7.

The American Petroleum Institute, National Ocean Industries Association, and International Association of Geophysical Contractors raised the objection in comments they jointly submitted on BOEM’s final programmatic environmental impact statement for what would be the first G&G surveys on the Atlantic OCS since the 1980s.

“Because G&G activities have little documented impact on marine mammals, the mitigation measures endorsed by Alternative B employ speculation to impose potentially substantial operation and economic burdens on future G&G activities that undermine Congress’s clear policy mandate that the Department of the Interior facilitate expeditious development of the OCS,” the associations said.

BOEM said it is preparing the PEIS on the Atlantic OCS from Delaware to Florida just past Daytona Beach and Orlando for G&G surveys for marine minerals and renewable energy as well as oil and gas. “These data would provide information about the location and extent of oil and gas reserves, seafloor conditions for oil and gas or renewable energy installations, and marine minerals deposits off the US Atlantic coast,” it said.

“State-of-the-practice G&G data and information are required for business decisions in furtherance of prospecting for OCS oil and gas in an orderly manner, assessing sites for renewable energy facilities, or using marine mineral resources in the area,” BOEM added. The public comment period for its PEIS covering this proposed G&G activity closed on May 7.

‘An essential step’

“Seismic surveys are safe, highly regulated, and an essential step for exploring for oil and natural gas offshore,” Erik Milito, API’s upstream and industry operations director, said in a separate statement. “We support BOEM’s plan to authorize seismic surveys to explore the Atlantic OCS but have serious concerns about the restrictions proposed.”

He said the only basis for restrictions outlined in Alternative B is a fundamentally flawed projection of animal impacts that BOEM itself says is totally unrealistic. “In its current state, this alternative could discourage investment in essential data gathering efforts. BOEM should either drop Alternative B or make substantial improvements to it,” Milito said.

“The government’s analysis should be based on real-world observations from many decades of research and experience,” he maintained. “The best science and research, including the Interior Department’s own studies, show that seismic surveys have little-to-no effect on marine mammal populations.”

Milito said API supports use of existing measures that are proven to protect marine life during survey operations, and believes BOEM’s Alternative A presents the option that is most supported by the best available science.

Contact Nick Snow at

Related Articles

EPA proposes voluntary methane reduction program for gas industry

07/24/2015 The US Environmental Protection Agency proposed a voluntary methane reduction program for the natural gas industry that would allow companies to ma...

Petrobras workers stage 24-hr strike

07/24/2015 Workers at beleaguered Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) staged a 24-hr strike across Brazil to protest plans by the state-owned company to liquid...

ONGC Videsh unit drills horizontally in Russia’s Snezhnoye field

07/24/2015 Imperial Energy Corp. PLC, a subsidiary of ONGC Videsh Ltd., has drilled two horizontal wells in the Naunak formation of Snezhnoye field in the Tom...

MARKET WATCH: Oil futures hover below $49/bbl

07/24/2015 Light, sweet crude oil futures prices settled under $49/bbl July 23 on the New York market, which means US prices have slid more than 20% since the...

EQT reports high IP from Utica dry gas well

07/24/2015 EQT Corp., Pittsburgh, said a deep, dry gas Utica well averaged 72.9 MMcfd with an average flowing casing pressure of 8,641 psi during a 24-hr deli...

Separate Murkowski bill addresses crude exports, OCS revenue sharing

07/24/2015 US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) introduced legislation that would end the ban on US crude oil expor...

OGUK updates guidelines for well abandonments


Oil & Gas UK has released updated guidelines for abandonment of wells, including cost estimates.

Statoil’s Julius well discovers gas, condensate in King Lear area

07/23/2015 Statoil ASA said its Julius exploratory well, drilled in the King Lear area of the Norwegian North Sea, has discovered gas and condensate (OGJ Onli...

MARKET WATCH: Oil futures plunge below $50/bbl


Light, sweet crude oil futures prices plunged lower to settle below $50/bbl on the New York market on July 22.

White Papers

UAS Integration for Infrastructure: More than Just Flying

Oil and gas companies recognize the benefits that the use of drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) c...

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

Operating a Sustainable Oil & Gas Supply Chain in North America

When Tue, Oct 20, 2015

Short lead times and unpredictable conditions in the Oil & Gas industry can create costly challenges in supply chains. By implementing a LEAN culture of continuous improvement you can eliminate waste, increase productivity and gain end-to-end visibility leading to a sustainable and well-oiled supply chain.

Please join us for this webcast sponsored by Ryder System, Inc.


On Demand

Leveraging technology to improve safety & reliability

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

Attend this informative webinar to learn more about how to leverage technology to meet the new OSHA standards and protect your employees from the hazards of arc flash explosions.


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.


Taking the Headache out of Fuel License and Exemption Certificates: How to Ensure Compliance

Tue, Aug 25, 2015

This webinar, brought to you by Avalara, will detail the challenges of tax document management, as well as recommend solutions for fuel suppliers. You will learn:

-    Why it’s critical to track business partner licenses and exemption documents
-    The four key business challenges of ensuring tax compliance through document management
-    Best practice business processes to minimize exposure to tax errors


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!


Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected