A baseline environmental reference database was established by a number of survey activities, including water and sediment quality analysis, biotope mapping (by divers and remote video) and benthic sampling with subsequent laboratory analysis.
The data were used to assess the sensitivity of the environment in the vicinity of proposed exploration operations and to provide a reference against which interim and post drill monitoring results could be compared.
All aspects of the operation were considered in an Environmental and Socio-economic Impact Assessment (ESIA) to assess whether there was potential to impact (either positively or negatively) on both the natural and socio-economic environments. Mitigation measures were proposed where unacceptable impacts were identified. These mitigation measures included modifications to “Best Management Practices” and environmental monitoring programs.
The baseline survey was designed in such a way as to enable future monitoring surveys to determine whether any changes in the environment recorded at baseline level were due to natural changes, by other development activities or, indeed, by the exploration activities themselves.
The results of the study have been submitted to the Department of Environmental Affairs in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
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