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

Energy

Prelude By the Numbers

Out at sea, look! It’s a ship! It’s a floating rig! It’s SuperFLNG! While not “faster than a speeding bullet,” Shell’s shipzilla Prelude is certainly more powerful than a speeding locomotive,

FLNG Prelude: A New Dawn in the Age of Maritime & Energy

Longer than four football fields, as big as six Nimitz-class aircraft carriers and almost as tall as the Taipei 101 skyscraper, Royal Dutch Shell PLC is hoping that its record-setting,

Valemon Topsides Installed

On Monday, July 28, the topsides were lifted into place on the steel jacket on the Valemon field in the North Sea. Produced by Samsung Heavy Industries this is

News

Control of Emission from Vessels in Hong Kong Waters

Amendments to the Shipping and Port Control Ordinance (Cap. 313) and the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) Ordinance (Cap. 548) to enhance the control of dark

Holland America Line Offers ‘Explore 4’ Early Booking

Holland America Line knows the trend for savvy travelers is to book vacations well in advance. To encourage those early bookings the line is returning with its

Aker Philadelphia Shipyard ASA: Purchase of own shares

Aker Philadelphia Shipyard AKPS), a leading U.S. commercial shipyard constructing vessels for operation in the Jones Act market, has on July 25, 2014 purchased 1,

Government Update

Control of Emission from Vessels in Hong Kong Waters

Amendments to the Shipping and Port Control Ordinance (Cap. 313) and the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) Ordinance (Cap. 548) to enhance the control of dark

UN Throws the Book at North Korea Ship Operator

A U.N. Security Council committee on Monday blacklisted the operator of a North Korean ship, which was seized near the Panama Canal last year for smuggling Soviet-era arms,

Tripoli Airport Ablaze, Rockets Leave Libya in Chaos

Diplomats flee Libyan chaos; Politicians appeal for international intervention. Clashes in Tripoli, Benghazi kill around 160 over two weeks, while Libyan capital face fuel, power shortages.

Offshore Energy

Prelude By the Numbers

Out at sea, look! It’s a ship! It’s a floating rig! It’s SuperFLNG! While not “faster than a speeding bullet,” Shell’s shipzilla Prelude is certainly more powerful than a speeding locomotive,

FLNG Prelude: A New Dawn in the Age of Maritime & Energy

Longer than four football fields, as big as six Nimitz-class aircraft carriers and almost as tall as the Taipei 101 skyscraper, Royal Dutch Shell PLC is hoping that its record-setting,

Corvus Energy, GMC Close Financing Agreement

Corvus Energy today announced that it has completed a strategic investment by Green Marine Capital (GMC) previously announced on May 5, 2014. Green Marine Capital,

Seismic Vessel Tech

Rosneft Starts Up Field Work in the Kara Sea

On July 24 this year, research vessel Geolog Dmitry Nalivkin sailed from Kirkenes (Norway) to the Kara Sea. In the next three months 2D seismic survey, will

US Approves Plan to Open Atlantic to Oil Reserve Surveys

The Obama administration on Friday approved a plan that would allow companies to assess oil resources off the Atlantic Coast, angering environmental groups that

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction 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: 0.1531 sec (7 req/sec)