The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issued a Call for Information and Nominations in the Federal Register on March 30, 2018, covering a proposed sale in the Beaufort Sea Planning Area in late 2019, as included in the 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Draft Proposed Program, which BOEM announced on January 4, 2018. That notice had a comment period deadline of April 30, 2018. Several stakeholders contacted BOEM and requested additional time to submit a comment.
The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has received a request from Hilcorp Alaska, LLC for authorization to take small numbers of marine mammals incidental to the construction and operation of the Liberty Drilling and Production Island
in Foggy Island Bay, Beaufort Sea, Alaska, over the course of five years from the date of issuance. Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act, NMFS is announcing receipt of Hilcorp’s request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals.
NMFS invites thepublic to provide information,suggestions, and comments on Hilcorp’sapplication and request.Comments and information mustbe received by NMFS no later than June 8, 2018.
The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service proposes to issue the Scripps Institution of Oceanography an incidental harassment authorization to incidentally take marine mammals during specified activities.This proposed IHA authorizes Scripps to take marine mammals incidental to a low-energy marine geophysical survey in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act NMFS is requesting comments on this proposal. NMFS must receive any public comments by May 29, 2018.
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The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has issued an incidental harassment authorization to Harvest Alaska, LLC , to incidentally take, by Level Bharassment, eight species of marine mammals incidental to oil and gas pipeline installation activities associated with the Cook Inlet Pipeline Cross Inlet Extension Project,
Cook Inlet, Alaska. The IHA is valid from April 25,2018, through April 24, 2019.
On October 25, 2018, the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness filed comments on the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Proposed Navy Take Rules for the Atlantic. CRE’s Executive Summary of its comments reads as follows:
“The Navy Take Rules use and rely on ‘NMFS 2016 Acoustic Technical Guidance.’ This use and reliance is mistaken for the following and other reasons:
- NOAA is considering rescinding or revising the Acoustic Guidance;
- Several Industry groups have identified significant Data Quality flaws in the Acoustic Guidance;
- CRE has also identified significant Data Quality flaws in the Acoustic Guidance; and
Several articles have identified a comeback in the offshore seismic industry in 2018. For example, an article on Rigzone stated in part:
“Oslo-listed seismic data provider TGS, a key supplier to the oil industry, reported first-quarter revenues far above forecasts as markets continue to improve, it said on Tuesday, sending its share price surging….
‘With all regions performing above our expectations, we see this as another sign of an underlying improvement in the market,’ Chief Executive Kristian Johansen said in a statement….
Seiche Training has released the following notice:
“To work in New Zealand as a Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) operator, individuals need to complete the specified training as outlined by the New Zealand Department of Conservation. The Seiche Training New Zealand PAM course aims at providing students with the knowledge and understanding of working as a PAM operator in New Zealand waters. The course, which is consistent with the standards set out in the 2013 Code of Conduct for minimising acoustic disturbance to marine mammals from seismic survey operations, will equip delegates with a thorough understanding of the Code, as well as PAM. The course is suitable for individuals new to PAM, and personnel who wish to gain an understanding of marine mammal acoustics, as well as individuals who are currently working in the offshore industry.
The International Association of Geophysical Contractors posted the following article on their website. This article concerns developments in New Zealand’s offshore seismic:
“Newstalk ZB Staff, National, 17 April 2018
The oil and gas industry is using the Official Information Act to pinpoint why government called for an end to future exploration in the fashion it did.
The Petroleum Exploration and Production Association has lodged requests with six government agencies and offices.
CEO Cameron Madgwick says there are more questions that need answering following meetings with the Energy and Resources Minister.
The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has received a request from the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation for authorization to take, by harassment, marine mammals incidental to constructing an integrated liquefied natural gas project in
Cook Inlet, Alaska, beginning November 2019 and continuing through October Pursuant to the implementing regulations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, NMFS has published notice of its receipt of the AGDC’s request for regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals and inviting information, suggestions,and comments on the AGDC’s application and request.
NMFS must receive any comments and information must be received no later than May 11, 2018.
The International Association of Geophysical Contractors posted the following article by H. Sterling Burnett on one of IAGC’s websites:
“A new paper by physicist John Droz, founder of the Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions, puts the lie to ten myths environmental activists have promoted over the decades to prevent offshore oil and gas development.
President Donald Trump reversed a proposal of the Barack Obama administration to remove federal waters in the Atlantic Ocean from potential seismic testing and oil and gas leasing. On January 4, 2018, the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) announced a revised National Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Leasing Program, proposing 47 lease sales in 25 planning areas, including nine in the Atlantic Region.