Norwegian Agency to Acquire Seismic Data

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) will commence acquisition of 2D seismic data in Nordland VII outside of Lofoten and Vesteralen around May 15.

The seismic survey company Bergen Oilfield Services AS will carry out the assignment using the vessel S/V BOS Atlantic on behalf of the authorities. The NPD has reserved the ship through Sept. 14, 2008. The NPD will also be acquiring 3D seismic data this summer. The seismic vessel S/V BOS Arctic has been reserved for the period from June 15 through July 31, 2008. The 3D seismic data acquisition activity will take place in Troms II -- north of Andoya. The NPD's goal for this year's seismic season is to acquire as much data as possible without conflicting with fishery activities in the area.

When the Storting (Norwegian Parliament) considered the Management Plan for the Barents Sea and the waters off Lofoten in the spring of 2006, it also resolved that potential petroleum deposits in the subsurface should be studied. The work was to be carried out by the NPD, which gathers and interprets seismic data in the Nordland VII and Troms II areas. The Storting also resolved to increase knowledge about seabirds in the areas covered by the management plan through the Seapop program, as well as about the seabed through the Mareano program. Information from these three data acquisition programs will contribute to forming a basis for the Storting's renewed consideration of the Management Plan in 2010.

The fishery interests and the authorities both want to increase knowledge about the effects of seismic noise on fish. A research project will be conducted in connection with this summer's 3D seismic data collection, in cooperation with the Institute of Marine Research. The objects of the study include examining the impact of the startle response in fish and the circulation of sound waves in the water.

Last summer, the NPD acquired 2D seismic data for about three weeks mid-summer. This year's activity will be far more extensive. Seimic data will also be acquired in 2009, if the Storting allocates funds for this purpose.

NOK 70 million was allocated for seismic acquisition in 2007, while the amount for 2008 is NOK 140 million.

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