Survey Guidelines Bring US Closer to Atlantic Oil Reseves

MarineLink.com
Thursday, February 27, 2014

By Ayesha Rascoe, Reuters

The Obama administration on Thursday laid out a framework for assessing the amount of crude off the Atlantic coast, another step toward possibly allowing oil production in an area that has been out of reach for decades.

The plan was released as part of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) final environmental review of the possible impacts of seismic testing to gauge oil reserves in the Atlantic Ocean.

If approved, the proposal would require measures aimed at avoiding vessel strikes of marine animals, the closure of certain areas to protect the migration path of the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale, and the use of underwater microphones to improve detection of marine mammals during seismic airgun surveys.

BOEM director Tommy Beaudreau said the data gleaned from seismic surveys could help the department as it crafts new leasing plans, although he noted the agency could move ahead with scheduling a lease sale in the Atlantic before the assessments are completed.

Under the plan, companies seeking to conduct seismic testing in the Atlantic would still have to undergo environmental reviews for their specific projects.

The department's draft environmental review of seismic testing in the Atlantic was released in 2012.

Drilling was banned off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts in the 1980s and remained off limits for more than two decades. The moratorium was lifted in 2008 as lawmakers dealt with fallout from record high gasoline prices.

The Obama administration was on the verge of allowing a lease sale off the coast of Virginia when the BP oil spill off the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 led to the auction's abrupt cancellation.

Republicans have blasted the president for not including the Atlantic in the government's current five-year leasing plan, and have launched numerous failed efforts in the House of Representatives to enact laws that would force approval of additional drilling.

Oil producers welcomed the administration's proposal, but stressed that the agency would need to signal that it plans to include the Atlantic in its next leasing plan for companies to actually invest in the seismic testing, which can cost tens of millions of dollars.

"The market will be there if the potential for leasing is there," said Erik Milito, director of upstream and industry operations for the American Petroleum Institute.

Nine companies currently have pending applications with the bureau to do assessments in the Atlantic.

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the top Republican on the Senate energy committee, said she hoped the administration would allow further action in the Atlantic to move ahead swiftly.

"It is a shame that it has taken this long to begin the work needed to survey our nation's energy resources off the Atlantic coast," Murkowski said. "I hope this review will mean boats in the water this year, followed very soon by lease sales."

(Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Ros Krasny, Franklin Paul and Chris Reese)

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter January 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

News

Kemp Joins PMSA as Vice President

The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA) announced the hire of Carl Kemp as a Vice President based in the organization’s Long Beach office.    Kemp brings

Crowley Christens 2nd LNG-ready Product Tanker

Crowley christens second of four newly built, LNG-ready product tankers for use in U.S. coastwise trade   Crowley Maritime Corp. has christened the second of

VT Halter Delivers ATB Tug to Bouchard

VT Halter Marine, Inc. announced the delivery of the M/V Morton S. Bouchard Jr., the first of the two 6,000 horsepower Twin Screw Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) tugs to Bouchard Transportation Co.

Government Update

Canada Says Lifting Some Sanctions Against Iran

The Canadian government said on Friday it was lifting some sanctions against Iran, including the broad ban on financial services, imports and exports, making Canadian

China to Enforce Low Sulphur ECA in Yangtze River Delta

Vessels calling ports in China’s Yangtze River Delta, including Shanghai, will be required to burn low sulphur fuel while at berth from April 1 this year.   China’s

COSCO Also Eyes Greek Train Network

China's COSCO already the sole bidder for Greece's Piraeus Port. Buying both would give COSCO a European transhipment hub. China's COSCO is expected to make

Surveyors

DNV GL, RS Ink Cooperation Deal

DNV GL’s Maritime CEO Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen recently met with Konstantin Palnikov, Director General of the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS), at the RS head office in St.

Drones Allow Surveys Without Scaffolds

DNV GL has completed several tests using drones to support hull surveys of vessels. Using drones to visually check the condition of remote structural components

Dual Class: RS and DNV GL Partner

In a January 28 meeting between RS Director General Konstantin Palnikov and DNV GL Maritime CEO Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen at the Head Office of Russian Maritime Register of Shipping,

Offshore Energy

HHI to Localise Main Equipment for Offshore Plants

Hyundai Heavy Industries and Doosan Heavy Industries Collaborate in Localizing Main Equipment for Offshore Plants   Seoul, South Korea – February 4 – Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI),

FUGRO Wins BHP Pyrenees Contract

Fugro has been awarded a contract by BHP Billiton Petroleum Pty Ltd for the Pyrenees Phase 3 Installation Project.   The Pyrenees development is located offshore Western Australia,

Iqarus Acquires C-CHEC at Subsea Expo

Offshore and onshore health and medical solutions company Iqarus is set to acquire occupational hygiene consultancy C-CHEC to deliver a new integrated offering to global industries.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
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: 0.1088 sec (9 req/sec)