NOAA Considers Effects of Arctic Oil and Gas Activities

Press Release
Friday, March 22, 2013

NOAA is seeking comments on a supplemental draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for oil and gas activities in the Arctic Ocean.

 

The draft, developed in collaboration with the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), includes analysis on how a broader range of potential offshore oil and gas activities could affect the environment, with a specific focus on marine mammals and the Alaska Native communities that depend on the animals for food and cultural traditions.


 
The Obama Administration's priority is ensuring that any development activities in the Arctic take place responsibly and will hold any future activities to the highest standards.



The environmental review addresses potential effects from both exploratory drilling and geological and geophysical (G&G) surveys, such as seismic surveys, in the Chuchki and Beaufort seas. After releasing the initial draft environmental impact statement for public comment in December 2011, NOAA and BOEM broadened the scope of analysis in light of comments from stakeholders. The initial EIS analyzed the effects of up to two exploratory drilling programs per year in both the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. The supplemental draft EIS analyzes the effects of up to four drilling programs per year in each area. The revised draft also expands discussion of mitigation measures designed to reduce the effects of offshore oil and gas activities on marine mammals and marine mammal subsistence users.
 


"We know how important marine mammals are to healthy Arctic ecosystems and the people who depend on them," said Sam Rauch, deputy assistant NOAA administrator for NOAA's Fisheries Service. "NOAA scientists are working hard to learn as much as we can about how oil and gas activities impact marine mammals. We will continue to work with our partners to develop and put into place strong mitigation measures that will help lessen the impacts of these and other activities in our oceans."



The supplemental draft EIS looks at measures NOAA could adopt when issuing incidental take authorizations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The act provides for the incidental and unintentional take of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens, if these actions will have only a negligible effect on the species and will not reduce the availability of the marine mammals to the Alaska natives who rely on them. As part of its supplemental analysis, NOAA examined various measures to minimize potential harmful effects from sound, accidentaldischarge of pollutants including oil, and the presence of vessels that will be part of these oil and gas operations, such as closing areas to exploration during whale migration and feeding and during traditional whale and seal hunts.
 


The supplemental draft, which builds on the earlier draft EIS, is available for comment for 60 days, through Tuesday, May 28. NOAA will also host a series of public meetings during the week of April 8, 2013, to provide additional opportunities for comment. More information is available online at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/eis/arctic.htm.



NOAA will incorporate public comments and any new information received during the public comment period, and expects to issue the final EIS in early 2014. NOAA will use the final EIS to help make decisions concerning incidental take authorizations that allow unintentional take of small numbers of marine mammals during oil and gas exploration activities in the U.S. Beaufort and Chukchi seas in 2014 and beyond. The EIS will also support BOEM, the agency with jurisdiction over offshore leasing and planning, in making its decisions, pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

 

Maritime Reporter March 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Newport News, ODU Partner for Bachelor's Degree Program

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced today that apprentices at Newport News Shipbuilding will now have the opportunity to earn a bachelor of science degree

Euronav Posts 62% Core Profit Increase

Belgian crude oil shipping group Euronav on Wednesday unveiled a 62 percent rise in first-quarter core profit as daily rates for its fleet rebounded from last year.

Modern Solutions Power Systems Conference

Thomas Alva Edison, who is considered to be one of the most prolific inventors in history, once said, “I find out what the world needs. Then I go ahead and try to invent it.

Environmental

Huge Iceberg Broken off Antarctica Heads for Open Ocean

Scientists are monitoring an iceberg roughly six times the size of Manhattan - one of the largest now in existence - that broke off from an Antarctic glacier and is heading into the open ocean.

Offshore Oil & Gas: Brazil’s Northern Frontier

In an effort to spread out oil and gas production to other parts of the country and increase overall oil production, Brazil has finally intensified hydrocarbon

RINA Launches Notation for Eco-ships

International classification society RINA has launched a new voluntary notation to clearly identify new ship designs which meet eco-ship criteria. The Efficient

Energy

Euronav Posts 62% Core Profit Increase

Belgian crude oil shipping group Euronav on Wednesday unveiled a 62 percent rise in first-quarter core profit as daily rates for its fleet rebounded from last year.

Offshore Oil & Gas: Brazil’s Northern Frontier

In an effort to spread out oil and gas production to other parts of the country and increase overall oil production, Brazil has finally intensified hydrocarbon

Azeri Shipyard, BP Sign Vessel Construction Contract

Azeri state energy company SOCAR's shipyard and British oil major BP have signed a $378 million deal to design and build a subsea construction vessel for the Shah Deniz II gas project,

News

Global Shipping Exposed to Cyber Threats

The next hacker playground: the open seas - and the oil tankers and container vessels that ship 90 percent of the goods moved around the planet. In this internet age,

US Navy Completes Korea Ferry SAR Mission

With concurrence from South Korean commanders, the U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) is departing waters around Jindo, South Korea

Newport News, ODU Partner for Bachelor's Degree Program

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced today that apprentices at Newport News Shipbuilding will now have the opportunity to earn a bachelor of science degree

Arctic Operations

Huge Iceberg Broken off Antarctica Heads for Open Ocean

Scientists are monitoring an iceberg roughly six times the size of Manhattan - one of the largest now in existence - that broke off from an Antarctic glacier and is heading into the open ocean.

Putin Wants Beefed-up Presence in the Arctic

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia should step up its presence in the Arctic and challenge other nations in exploring the world's largest untapped natural reserves,

Arctic Energy Exploration Efforts Heat Up

Oil and gas—and also mining—are the drivers today propelling Arctic maritime operations and the construction of new vessels able to operate in extreme latitudes.

Offshore Energy

Offshore Oil & Gas: Brazil’s Northern Frontier

In an effort to spread out oil and gas production to other parts of the country and increase overall oil production, Brazil has finally intensified hydrocarbon

C-MAR's Modern Approach to DP Training in Brazil

The modern offshore maritime industry heavily relies on different classes of DP vessels, from OSVs to Drillships and Tankers, almost all vessels serving the oil

UK Subsidises 8 Renewable Energy Contracts

The British government on Wednesday awarded investment contracts under a new subsidy regime to eight renewable energy projects, including five offshore wind farms and three biomass plants.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1971 sec (5 req/sec)