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API: New seismic impact statement disregards industry's operating record in Gulf of Mexico


Brooke Sammon | SammonB@api.org | 202.682.8114


WASHINGTON, August 4, 2017 – API issued the following statement expressing disappointment in the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on seismic surveying in the Gulf of Mexico. API previously joined the International Association of Geophysical Contractors, the National Ocean Industries Association, and the Offshore Operators Committee to submit detailed comments on BOEM’s Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement.  The final Programmatic EIS issued today failed to take into account extensive industry mitigation efforts and use the best available scientific information in setting new operational measures.

"While we appreciate BOEM moving forward in this process, today’s decision is based on a flawed interpretation of scientific data," said Andy Radford, API Senior Offshore Policy Advisor. “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."

Seismic surveys are a safe and proven technology that help make offshore energy development safer and more efficient. Advances in seismic imaging technology and data processing over the last decade have dramatically improved the industry’s ability to locate oil and natural gas offshore. In addition to the oil and natural gas industry, seismic surveys are commonly used by the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Science Foundation, and the offshore wind industry. A rigorous permitting process ensures that seismic surveys are properly managed and conducted so they have minimal impact on the marine environment. To learn more visit API's website here.

“Our industry remains committed to improving the scientific understanding of the impacts of our operations on marine life," said Radford. "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.”

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 40 million Americans.