BOEMRE to prepare EA for Statoil Chukchi Sea ancillary activities

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, June 7 -- The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement plans to prepare an environmental assessment of ancillary activities proposed by Statoil USA E&P Inc. for its US Outer Continental Shelf leases in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska. BOEMRE will accept public comments on the proposal through June 16.

Activities involving Chukchi Sea leases acquired in OCS Lease Sale 193 are restricted because of a remand the US District Court for Alaska issued July 21, BOEMRE said. The court ruled that the order does not cover ancillary activities, it added.

BOEMRE said Statoil proposed seismic surveys for site clearance and shallow hazards, as well as shallow coring for geotechnical evaluation data. These data may inform future exploration plans and development as well as production plans, it indicated.

Issues and concerns identified by the agency’s technical analysts include the effects from seismic survey sound, vessel presence, and bottom-disturbing activities on bowhead whale migration; marine fish and essential fish habitat; marine wildlife including marine mammals, birds, lower trophic organisms, and threatened and endangered species; subsistence activities; and archeological resources, BOEMRE said.

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