Health of Geophysical Industry Critical to Market Recovery

The International Association of Geophysical Contractors posted the following article on its website:

“Energy is one of the most important markets in the world, and the geophysical industry is the foundation of ensuring safe, affordable, and accessible oil and gas exploration and development. While OPEC’s landmark agreement at the end of the year to cut oil output boosted crude prices and optimism for some semblance of market certainty, no one can predict what the oil services market holds for 2017. One can be certain, however, that global energy demand will continue to increase, and that demand cannot be met without the geophysical industry.

SPE HSSE Conference

On April 18-20, 2017, at the Astor Crowne Plaza in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, the Society of Petroleum Engineers will conduct a conference on health, safety, security, and environmental challenges facing the E&P industry. Topics covered:

  • Environment
  • Emergency preparedness and response
  • HSE management
  • Safety and health
  • Security
  • Social responsibility

Click here for more details

CRE Comments on NOAA’s Offshore Seismic ICR

On March 15, 2017, the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness filed comments on a Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) Information Collection Request (ICR) affecting offshore oil and gas seismic. This ICR asks The U.S. Office of Management and Budget to approve the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Application and Reporting Requirements for Incidental Take Authorizations for offshore oil and gas exploration. For reasons discussed in detail in our comments, CRE requested that if OMB approves this ICR, then they include the following Terms of Clearance:

i) This ICR approval does not authorize any use of NOAA’s new “Technical Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammal Hearing” (Acoustic Guidance).

Final Multisale Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed 2017-2022 Gulf of Mexico OCS Oil and Gas Lease Sales

The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has published its Gulf of Mexico OCS Oil and Gas Lease Sales: 2017-2022; Gulf of Mexico Lease Sales 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 256, 257, 259, and 261; Final Multisale Environmental Impact Statement (2017-2022 GOM Multisale EIS). The proposed oil and gas lease sales are tentatively scheduled to be held in 2017-2022 under the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing: Proposed Final Program.

Seismic Survey Market Is Expected to Grow

Digital Journal recently posted an article entitled “Seismic Survey Market Is Expected to Witness Substantial Growth During Forecast by 2024.” This article states:

“The international seismic survey market is witnessing a strong trend in the field of 4D seismic survey technology. Along with depth, width, and height, the 4D technology also considers the important component of time. As a result, the implementation of this technology has seen a rise in the exploration and production domain of the oil sector. Companies such as Polarcus have adopted restructuring for coming out of debts, for which they received a significant support from their stakeholders. Players in the industry are also recommended to focus on collaborations for staying healthy in the global market.”

Gulf of Mexico Alliance 2017 One Gulf Summit and All Hands Meeting

The international Association of Geological and Geophysical Contractors has announced that This meeting will occur Sunday, March 26, 2017 – Friday, March 31, 2017, at the Omni Hotel in Houston, Texas. IAGC stated that

“Planning is well underway for the 2017 One Gulf Summit and Gulf of Mexico Alliance All Hands Meeting.  The Summit has a robust agenda available on sgmsummit.org. Highlights address challenges that focus on assessing short-term and long-term restoration; effectively linking environmental, human, and economic health; and engaging our international partners relative to the Large Marine Ecosystem that is the Gulf of Mexico.

Debate Over Seismic’s Effect on Fish

The International Association of Geological and Geophysical Contractors recently posted a report on a Bureau of Ocean Energy Management study that indicates seismic may scare away fish under some circumstances. The IAGC posted with this report an IAGC response criticizing and rebutting it. Click here for the IAGC postings.

NOAA Sends Seismic Take ICR to OMB

On February 17, 2017, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published Federal Register notice that NOAA has submitted to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35):

Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Title: Applications and Reporting Requirements for the Incidental Take of Marine Mammals by Specified Activities (other than Commercial Fishing Operations) under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. OMB Control Number: 0648–0151.

Comments are due to OMB thirty days after the February 17, 2017 Federal Register publication of this notice.

CRE Files Second Comments on NMFS’ Proposed Bryde’s Whale ESA Listing

On February 6, 2017, CRE filed its First Comments with the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service on the Service’s proposed Bryde’s Whales listing. On February 23, 2017, CRE filed its Second Comments on NMFS’ proposed Bryde’s whale listing .

CRE’s Second Comments address one additional issue: NMFS’ failure to comply with the Office of Management and Budget’s “Agency Good Guidance Practices” Bulletin and with OMB’s implementing guidance for this Bulletin.

This OMB Bulletin is available here.

Industry sees opening to revamp species protection law

The International Association of Geophysical Contractors published the following article:

“Industry sees opening to revamp species protection law

Emily Yehle, E&E News reporter
Published: Friday, February 3, 2017

About 30 baleen whales live year-round in an underwater canyon off the Florida Panhandle, in an area of the Gulf of Mexico that is currently off-limits to oil and gas activity but could be reopened in 2022.

The subspecies of Bryde’s whale may be the most endangered whale in the world, and right now, one U.S. law prohibits companies and agencies from killing or harassing them: the Marine Mammal Protection Act.