Oil industry to study the sounds it makes at sea

Paul Boughton

The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP) has announced the start of a global industry programme to assess the effect of operational sounds on marine life, with an initial focus on marine mammals and fish.

Research scientist Dr. Roger Gentry will coordinate the work. A renowned marine biologist, he has extensively researched the effects of sound on marine life.

The programme - which in the first instance is expected to last three years - will address sounds associated with oil and gas exploration and production activities, including seismic work. This will add to the scientific knowledge on the potential effects of sound on marine life.

According to Dr. Gentry: “This programme will align with work being done by governments and the academic community. Together, we want to be able to define the nature of risk posed to marine life by the sound of oil and gas operations offshore. With that information, regulators and operators will be able to make informed decisions based on demonstrable fact.”

The new programme marks the second phase of the industry's global investigation into marine sound. The first phase, which took place in 2005, identified the knowledge gaps that the second phase will strive to fill.

Founder participants in the new programme are BG Group, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, the International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC), Shell, Statoil and Total. The programme will welcome subsequent involvement by other companies and organisations.

OGP encompasses the world's leading private and state-owned oil & gas companies, their national and regional associations and major upstream contractors and suppliers associations. OGP members produce more than half of the world's oil and over a third of its gas.

OGP represents the upstream industry before international bodies and regulators such as the United Nations and the European Union. Since its founding in 1974, the Association has worked to promote best practice in health, safety, the environment, engineering and social responsibility wherever oil and gas are found and produced.

For more information, visit www.ogp.org.uk


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