US opens door to East Coast offshore oil and gas drilling

Jul 19, 2014
A fin whale surfaces near offshore oil rigs off the southern California coast on January 29, 2012 near Long Beach, California

The United States on Friday opened the way to offshore oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic Ocean, authorizing the controversial use of sonic cannons for seismic surveys.

Exploration off the US East Coast has been banned since the early 1980s, largely because of environmental concerns. The use of sonic waves, whose noise levels are magnified under water, risks harm to .

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said in a statement it was "establishing the highest practicable level of mitigation measures and safeguards to reduce or eliminate impacts to marine life while setting a path forward for appropriate geological and geophysical (G&G) survey activities... to update 40-year old data on the region's offshore resources."

The decision does not authorize any G&G activities, but establishes a "framework" for additional reviews for sites when it considers permit applications for those activities, the BOEM said.

The move opens up seismic surveys in the Atlantic off the eastern seaboard from Delaware to Florida.

The American Petroleum Institute, which has been pushing for the resumption of exploration and production in the Atlantic, welcomed the BOEM's decision to issue permits.

But the industry lobby, in a statement, expressed concern about "the lack of scientific support for certain requirements the administration wants to impose on seismic surveys in the Atlantic" that it said could discourage exploration.

Oceana, a nonprofit group dedicated to protecting oceans, slammed the limited protections of marine life as too weak.

The move by President Barack Obama's administration authorizes the use of "dynamite-like blasts" to search for oil and gas deposits deep below the ocean floor in an area twice the size of California, the NGO said.

"While the decision includes limited protections for species like the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, of which there are less than 500 left worldwide... They do not go far enough to combat the threats posed to fisheries, economies and marine mammals," Oceana said in a statement.

Explore further: US mulls seismic tests to map oil drilling potential in Atlantic

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Agency stops seismic tests; worries about dolphins

Apr 02, 2012

(AP) -- With sick and dead dolphins turning up along Louisiana's coast, federal regulators are curbing an oil and natural gas exploration company from doing seismic tests known to disturb marine mammals.

Obama to enlarge US marine sanctuary: report

Jun 17, 2014

President Barack Obama will on Tuesday announce plans to significantly expand a US sanctuary in the central Pacific Ocean in a move that could create the world's largest such protected area, the Washington ...

US opens ways for Shell Arctic Ocean drilling

Aug 05, 2011

US officials have granted oil giant Shell conditional approval to begin drilling exploration wells in the Arctic Ocean from next year, a move swiftly slammed by conservationists as "inexcusable".

Five sea turtle populations are endangered

Sep 16, 2011

The United States issued a ruling on Friday saying that five world populations of loggerhead sea turtles are endangered species but four are only "threatened."

Recommended for you

More safety on thermal drying plants of sewage sludge

Dec 23, 2014

Researchers from the Madariaga Lab at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid have carried out a series of trials to study the explosiveness of sludge on thermal drying plants of sewage sludge. The obtained ...

User comments : 7

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

eachus
1.7 / 5 (6) Jul 19, 2014
It is nice to know that the environmental crazies are at least consistent. But the improvement in sensor technology over the last 40 years means that systems for sonic seismology use less power than submarine sonars and even whale songs. These improvements are not because oil and gas companies care about the environment, but they definitely care about the bottom line. If you want to create the sound of a stick of dynamite going off underwater the cheapest way is probably with a stick of dynamite. Do this in a grid of locations over a lease tract, and you are talking serious money.

Do it with 1/1000th or less of the energy and you not only save a lot of money, but with the right equipment you can survey using a much finer grid and still save money. (In fact, in modern seismology the biggest cost is often the CPU centuries on supercomputers to translate the data into a usable form.)
DoieaS
1.8 / 5 (5) Jul 19, 2014
These green crazies did nothing for propagation of cold fusion and magnetic motor research, they just pushing their own industry, which is indeed unsustainable and environmentally unfriendly in the same way, like the fossil fuels based energetics.
Caliban
4.3 / 5 (6) Jul 19, 2014
It is nice to know that the environmental crazies are at least consistent. [...] but they definitely care about the bottom line. If you want to create the sound of a stick of dynamite going off underwater the cheapest way is probably with a stick of dynamite. Do this in a grid of locations over a lease tract, and you are talking serious money.

Do it with 1/1000th or less of the energy and you not only save a lot of money, but with the right equipment you can survey using a much finer grid and still save money.


OK, eachus -let's see some legitimate citations for this claim of single-stick equivalent --much less 1/1000th stick equivalent acoustic power generation being used for seafloor siesmic imaging, and its widespread application in Atlantic offshore petro exploration.

Or expect to be torpedoed like any other BigCarbon shill.

And @DoieaS,

What the hell are you trying to say, exactly?

zaxxon451
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 20, 2014
Capitalism continues it's war against the Earth unchecked.
holoman
2 / 5 (4) Jul 20, 2014
Hydrogen-from-Seawater Technology FREE to the World

http://thomasinst...bly.com/

Big Banks, Oil Companies, and Wealthy investors will put their lobbyist to work as noted
by some of the caustic comments.

Its possible to do many technologies, and to limit one or another tells me nepotism, corporate America and other self serving idea-logs don't want any competition, sad.

When new technologies could benefit the existing ones we will never find out because
the green eyed monsters controlling the purse strings will never let this happen.

The way of our greedy world.

Caliban
5 / 5 (3) Jul 20, 2014
Hydrogen-from-Seawater Technology FREE to the World

http://thomasinst...bly.com/

Big Banks, Oil Companies, and Wealthy investors will put their lobbyist to work as noted
by some of the caustic comments.

Its possible to do many technologies, and to limit one or another tells me nepotism, corporate America and other self serving idea-logs don't want any competition, sad.

When new technologies could benefit the existing ones we will never find out because
the green eyed monsters controlling the purse strings will never let this happen.

The way of our greedy world.


@Holoman,

If only it were real...have you -or someone known and trusted- built and tested Thomas' device? Until there is a working, tested, and verified example of this technology up and running -which shouldn't be a problem, since it's being offered for FREE- then this remains just another pie-in-the-sky.

I hope it's real, because it would mean the end of the BigCarbon-driven doomtrain were riding.

Caliban
5 / 5 (1) Jul 20, 2014
eachus,

Well? Where is it? Are you still in church? Well , that's alright --but don't be all day about it.

You'll notice that I've not yet rated your comment, against the contingency that you are actually able to produce a citation which unequivocally supports your claim.

Tick tock.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.