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

Energy

Decade Old India Shipping Summit Makes History

In ten years, India Shipping Summit held consistently in Mumbai, has sailed on a robust growth course despite the worldwide witnessing recessionary waves buffeting any endeavors to grow and gain.

Areva-Siemens Raises Claim Over Finnish Reactor Delays

The French-German consortium Areva-Siemens , the supplier of Finland's much-delayed Olkiluoto-3 nuclear reactor, has increased its claim against Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO),

16 Die in Coal Mine Accident in China

Sixteen workers were killed after a coal mine collapsed in China's far western region of Xinjiang, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday, highlighting

News

Decade Old India Shipping Summit Makes History

In ten years, India Shipping Summit held consistently in Mumbai, has sailed on a robust growth course despite the worldwide witnessing recessionary waves buffeting any endeavors to grow and gain.

USCG to Ensure Safety During World Series

The Coast Guard and local agencies are working to ensure the safety of boaters and baseball fans during World Series games at AT&T Park this weekend. The

Areva-Siemens Raises Claim Over Finnish Reactor Delays

The French-German consortium Areva-Siemens , the supplier of Finland's much-delayed Olkiluoto-3 nuclear reactor, has increased its claim against Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO),

Government Update

Navy to Commission Submarine North Dakota

The Navy will commission its newest attack submarine North Dakota, during a ceremony Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, at Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.

MARAD Seeks Comments on Proposed Policy for Deepwater Export Applications

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) is seeking comments on the agency’s proposed policy to accept, evaluate and process license applications for the construction

Oil Drillers Group to Fight U.S. Export Ban

More than a dozen U.S. oil producers have joined to lobby the federal government to reverse the 40-year-old ban on U.S. crude exports, a move that supporters hope

Offshore Energy

Ezra Bags $70m in Offshore Contracts

Ezra Holdings Limited, a leading contractor and provider of integrated offshore solutions to the oil and gas industry, today announced that the Group’s Subsea Services division,

New Oil Field Found in British North Sea

GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd and BP today announced a new exploration discovery in the UK Central North Sea. The discovery, which spans GDF SUEZ operated block 30/1f

A History of U.S. Oil Export Controls

On Oct. 20, 1973, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia imposed a total embargo on oil shipments to the United States among other countries in response to their support for Israel during the Arab-Israeli war.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion 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: 0.2457 sec (4 req/sec)