US Approves Plan to Open Atlantic to Oil Reserve Surveys

Posted by Eric Haun
Friday, July 18, 2014

The Obama administration on Friday approved a plan that would allow companies to assess oil resources off the Atlantic Coast, angering environmental groups that worried the plan will harm marine life and open the door to offshore drilling.

First outlined by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in February, the plan lays out the mitigation measures companies would be required to undertake before conducting seismic testing to gauge the oil reserves in the Atlantic Ocean.

"We are taking every step we think is reasonable to take to try and put those protections in place, while still allowing surveys to occur," Acting BOEM Director Walter Cruickshank said on a press call.

BOEM emphasized that the plan does not authorize any particular seismic surveys and that companies would still have to apply for site-specific permits.

Several companies have pending applications to assess the Atlantic oil reserves. Cruickshank said surveys could begin early next year.

Green groups slammed the plan, which they said did not offer enough protection for fisheries and marine mammals and would lead to more oil and gas production. They are concerned that the underwater blasts of compressed air could wreak havoc.

"The use of seismic airguns is the first step to expanding dirty and dangerous offshore drilling to the Atlantic Ocean," Oceana campaign director Claire Douglass said in a statement.

While a decades-old ban on drilling in the Atlantic was lifted by Congress in 2008, the Obama administration canceled a planned lease sale off the Virginia coast after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

The administration has begun to craft the next five-year U.S. offshore oil and gas leasing plan, which will run from 2017 to 2022.

The BOEM said the seismic testing framework does not mean a decision has been made on whether the Atlantic will be included in the new five-year plan.

(Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; editing by Matthew Lewis)

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

Energy

MEPC Makes Progress on Energy Efficiency, Emissions

The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) met for its 67th session from October 13-17, 2014, at IMO Headquarters in London.

Wärtsilä Expects 5% Sales Growth

Wärtsilä announced its third quarter results, reporting that it sees good development in order intake and profitability. According to Wärtsilä, third quarter

Total CEO Plane Crash: Russian Prosecutors Detain More Suspects

Russian prosecutors detained four Moscow airport workers and denied bail to the driver of a snow plough which hit a private jet killing the CEO of French oil company Total earlier this week,

News

Documentary Examines Shipbreaking Practices in Bangladesh

Toxic ships for Bangladesh: TV documentary on German ship owners and their shipbreaking practices A new documentary titled "Giftiger Tankerschrott für Bangladesch

Containers, Cruises Help Boost Marseilles Fos

Container throughput at French port Marseilles Fos reached 876,711 teu for the period January to September, an increase of 6% on the first nine months last year.

Interferry Applauds IMO Consideration of BWTS Exemption

Interferry has praised a decision made at last week’s meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) that could exempt certain ferry operators

Government Update

Bright Outlook for BWM Convention

The Danish Maritime Authority informed that the Ballast Water Management Convention is now one step closer to ratification following last week’s meeting of United

Chief of Naval Personnel Visits Naval Special Warfare

Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP) Vice Adm. Bill Moran visited Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Sailors during an all hands call on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Oct.

PDVSA Charters Another Algerian Crude Cargo

Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA has hired a supertanker to load a second 2 million-barrel cargo of Algerian crude, according to preliminary tanker fixture data.

Surveyors

WWII Wrecks Found off North Carolina

German U-boat 576 and freighter Bluefields found within 240 yards A team of researchers led by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries have discovered two

SYM Bolsters Shipowners Service Portfolio

SYM announced it has reorganized its technical services in three lines: Technical Services, Wet Docking Services and Electrical and Electronic Maintenance. Technical Services,

ClassNK Gets Authorization from Canadian Flag

Leading classification society ClassNK has received authorization from Transport Canada to carry out statutory surveys on Canadian-flagged vessels on behalf of the Government of Canada.

Offshore Energy

Nordic Wins with Noble

Nordic Maritime, a leading offshore service operator, today announced a five year time charter for its DP2 IMR Subsea vessel, Mokul Nordic, which has been awarded by Noble Energy,

Pemex Suspends Eviction of Workers in Campeche

Due to the behavior shown by the low pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico, whose career was diverted in the last hours, the Technical Analysis Group Emergency

Total CEO Killed in Moscow Runway Accident

Private jet collided with snow plow during takeoff; Total's CEO a defender of Moscow policies. Insiders Boisseau and Pouyanne long seen as potential successors.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.1476 sec (7 req/sec)