Ecological and Environmental Management During the Hail 3D Transition-Zone Survey: Safe Working Practices Within a UNESCO World-Biosphere Reserve
The Hail 3D transition-zone seismic survey, carried out by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in 2013–14, was located within an area considered to be of significant national and international environmental importance. Falling within a designated marine protected area that was ratified by Abu Dhabi ministerial decree, as well as in a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization world-biosphere reserve, high standards of environmental and ecological management throughout the acquisition program were of paramount importance.
Effective environmental and ecological management throughout the project was attained through the design and implementation of numerous working procedures and monitoring programs. These included the development of specific sets of mitigation guidelines for use during transition-zone surveys for minimizing disturbance and injury to marine mammals and turtles and for operating within mangrove areas, and the use of environmental profiling, auditing, and post-operational monitoring in both the terrestrial and marine environment for collecting new data on the biodiversity and ecology of the area.
For the first time, we present ecological and environmental data collected over a period of 12 months within the Hail shoal area. In addition to data on species numbers and distributions, we present a method for effectively managing complex seismic surveys being carried out simultaneously in both the marine and terrestrial environment.
For marine-mammal and turtle species, visual observations were compared over time and analyzed against seismic activity by use of a regression analysis. Our results demonstrate seasonal variation in total numbers throughout the year, with no significant reduction in observed numbers occurring as a result of seismic-exploration activities.
We further demonstrate how a complex seismic survey can be managed and supervised to mitigate and minimize the environmental footprint or negative impacts on biodiversity as a result of the exploration and resource development considered crucial to the socioeconomic development of Abu Dhabi.
North Dakota, Texas Fuel Increase in US Natural Gas Venting and Flaring
According to a new report from the EIA, the volume of natural gas reported as flared reached its highest average annual level in 2018, 1.28 Bcf/D. With production soaring in the Bakken, Permian, and Eagle Ford plays, North Dakota and Texas accounted for more than 80% of that total.
Offshore Wind: The New Frontier in Powering Platforms?
Offshore wind makes up less than 1% of the current energy mix, but analysts have it pegged as a potential trillion-dollar business in the near future. That growth presents an opportunity for operators to reduce costs and their carbon footprint through the electrification of their offshore platforms.
Bandwidth of Nanotechnology in the Oil Field Widens
Nanotechnology has great potential to reduce cost, increase production, and even improve the sustainability of E&P operations. But, where do we stand in terms of potential vs. reality? And, is the industry ready and willing to use the technology?
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