Scolding the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) decision-making strategy regarding seismic surveying in the Gulf of Mexico, the American Petroleum Institute (API) recently issued a statement criticizing the bureau’s final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
API’s complaint centered on the EIS’s apparent disregard for ongoing industry efforts, alleging BOEM’s failure to utilize optimum scientific data before establishing new procedural guidelines.
"While we appreciate BOEM moving forward in this process, today’s decision is based on a flawed interpretation of scientific data," Andy Radford, API’s senior offshore policy adviser, said in a release. “It also disregards the fact that the natural gas and oil industry has been conducting safe, effective seismic research in the Gulf of Mexico for decades with effective mitigation measures that provide strong protections to marine life. We urge BOEM to consider these important facts as this process continues."
API maintains that seismic surveys are proven to be safe for advancing offshore technology development, pointing out that imaging technology has improved substantially over the past decade.
Not only does the oil and natural gas industry use the method, but also offshore wind developers and federal agencies such as the U.S. Geological Survey and National Science Foundation. API noted that seismic surveying is handled safely under a comprehensive permitting procedure.
"Seismic surveying in the Gulf of Mexico is a critical part of safe offshore energy development that is necessary if we are to continue to harness our nation’s energy potential for the benefit of American energy consumers,” Radford said in the release.