Oil industry set 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 lifewith an initial focus on marine mammals and fish.

Research scientist Dr Roger Gentry will co-ordinate the work. A renowned marine biologisthe has extensively researched the effects of sound on marine life.

The programme – expected to last three years – will address sounds associated with oil and gas exploration and production activitiesincluding 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. Togetherwe 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 informationregulators and operators will be able to make informed decisions based on demonstrable fact.”

The programme marks the second phase of the industry’s investigation into marine sound. The first phasewhich took place in 2005identified the knowledge gaps that the second phase will strive to fill.

Founder participants in the new programme are BG GroupBPChevronConocoPhillipsExxonMobilthe International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC)ShellStatoil and Total. The programme will welcome subsequent involvement by other companies and organisations.

OGP encompasses the world’s leading private and state-owned oil and gas companiestheir national and regional associations and major upstream contractors and suppliers associations.

For more informationvisit www.ogp.org.uk


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