The Government has proposed an allocation of NOK 200 million for the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's geological mapping activities in Nordland VII and Troms II in 2009. The conclusion of the three-year mapping program will provide new information about the resources in the area, and improve the decision basis for the updated comprehensive management plan in 2010.
When it presented the White Paper on the comprehensive management plan for Lofoten and the Barents Sea in 2006, the Government indicated that it wanted to augment knowledge within three areas: the seabird program Seapop, mapping of the seabed through the Mareano program and geological mapping under the direction of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).
The NPD's mapping of Nordland VII and Troms II started in 2007 with acquisition of 2D seismic data, and continued in 2008 with acquisition of 2D and 3D seismic data in Nordland VII and Troms II.
Assuming that the Government's proposed budget is adopted by the Storting, the NPD plans limited acquisition of 3D seismic data in the summer of 2009. It has been suggested that the acquisition period be limited to six weeks.
The NOK 200 million allocation is also meant to cover expenses for associated research on the effect of seismic data acquisition on fish. This research will take place in connection with the acquisition activity in the summer of 2009.
"If the Storting follows up on the resolution to acquire seismic data, we will certainly do our best to follow up such a decision. The NPD wants to make sure that acquisition activity causes the least possible conflict with fishery activities, and we will plan our activity accordingly," said Director General Bente Nyland.
She wants to have the best possible cooperation between the NPD, the fishery authorities and the fishery organizations, well in advance of next summer's acquisition activity.
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