20 Seismic Surveys Performed on Norwegian Shelf During 2004

A total of more than 500,000 line kilometers were shot. This is 170,000 km more than in 2003, but about the same volume as in 2002. There were no seismic surveys north of Lofoten in 2004.

Seventeen of the surveys were implemented in 3D (which provides a three-dimensional picture of the subsurface), while three were done in 2D. The active companies were Statoil, Hydro, Fugro, TGS, Veritas and Shell. Principal Engineer Jan Stenløkk in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) presented this summary at a seminar on fish and seismic activity held in Bodø in mid-February.

The fishery and seismic activity seminar is organised each year by OLF (the Norwegian Oil Industry Association). The seminar is an informal meeting place where the affected parties can come together to exchange information and discuss relevant topics. The fishery industry acquires knowledge such as various types of seismic surveys, and the oil industry gains knowledge of viewpoints in the fishery industry regarding the execution and effects of such surveys. Through a forum of discussion and exchange of knowledge, it has emerged that what has been perceived as a problem is actually not a problem at all.

"In order to understand what we are doing, it is important for the fishery industry to meet the oil industry. This makes things clearer and helps avoid problems. The seminar is an important contributing factor to avoid conflicts between these two players," says Stenløkk.

Stenløkk helped plan the seminar, which was held in Bodø on 17 February. He also gave a presentation on seismic activity in 2004. The seminar has gradually been well-received by the fishery industry, research institutions and representatives of the oil industry.

"The event in Bodø was both positive and successful, and the tone between the parties was very good," says Stenløkk.

Research has shown that shooting seismic does not have a significant negative impact on local fish populations. With regard to frightening fish, this has only been proven in a radius of 2-3 kilometers from where the sound waves are shot.

Before seismic surveys can be carried out, the seismic companies must receive the consent of the NPD. Applications for consent must be submitted five weeks before the surveys are implemented. The NPD obtains a statement from the Directorate of Fisheries, and then responds as to whether or not the application is approved.

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