The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) recently released technical guidance that will impact the evaluation of permits for offshore seismic surveying activity.
The guidance comes after a multi-year process where industry, including several PESA members, provided the agency with the latest science and technical information to support decision-making. Specifics of the guidance are still under review, but seismic experts are concerned about the broad approach taken by the agency.
Much like a recently issued GHG guidance from the White House, the document developed by NOAA will be used to guide federal approval of requests to conduct the offshore seismic surveys necessary for offshore oil and gas development.
Scientific reviews and studies have shown that noise from offshore oil and gas activities, including seismic surveys, do not result in significant impacts to marine life. With innovation continuing to improve the accuracy of surveys, the ability to conduct this work is important for energy development and safety.