International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC), a trade association representing the industry that provides geophysical services, has said that the US Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) has been excluded from the five-year planning process for several decades – based in large part on the position that the resource potential was not significant.
Those estimates are based on 30-plus-year-old seismic data, according to IAGC Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Walt Rosenbusch. He encouraged the administration to authorize new geophysical acquisitions in the Atlantic OCS saying that seismic surveys can help better understand the U.S. offshore energy potential.
“The United States is virtually the only nation that is not exploring the resource potential of the Atlantic. The US Atlantic OCS has been excluded from the five-year planning process for several decades – based in large part on the position that the resource potential was not significant. Those estimates are based on 30 plus year old seismic data.”
Rosenbusch added: “It’s been nearly two years since the BOEM’s announcement to consider authorization of permitting geophysical activities on the Atlantic OCS. Had the Administration moved forward – granting the authorizations to acquire new seismic data – they would have data that would better define the resource potential on the Atlantic OCS.
“They should move forward in authorizing new geophysical acquisition to take place so that they and everyone better understands the resource potential underlying the Atlantic OCS.”
“The geophysical permitting process is rigorous – as it should be. In the instances of the permits for geophysical acquisition on the Atlantic OCS awaiting approval Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia have all determined that geophysical operations off their coast line is consistent with their individual coastal zone management plans. Geophysical activities can coexist with other activities occurring offshore. Geophysical operations have been taking place in the Gulf of Mexico for several decades – where the commercial and recreational fishing industry tourism flourishes.
In conclusion, Rosenbusch said: “The Administration made the wise decision to propose a lease sale in the Atlantic. They should move forward in authorizing new geophysical acquisition to take place so that they and everyone better understands the resource potential underlying the Atlantic OCS. The new data will identify the areas that may hold recoverable oil and gas reserves and will enable leaders to make informed decisions on how to best utilize these resources to ensure the nation’s future energy security.”