July 18, 2014 13:27 ET

IAGC Expresses Concern With U.S. BOEM's Atlantic OCS Record of Decision

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwired - Jul 18, 2014) - Robert Hobbs, International Association of Geophysical Contractors Chairman of the Board of Directors, today issued the following statement regarding the Department of the Interior's Atlantic OCS Record of Decision (ROD):

"While IAGC supports the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) overall decision to authorize permitting of geophysical activities on the Atlantic OCS, the Record of Decision (ROD) places many arbitrary and unnecessary restrictions on geophysical surveys that threaten the prospect of obtaining the necessary seismic data to inform future policies regarding exploration in the Atlantic OCS.

"The fundamental flaw with the ROD is its establishment of an unrealistic 'worst case' scenario in which geophysical activities are projected to result in thousands of incidental takes of marine mammals that BOEM admits will not actually occur. As a result, the ROD imposes similarly unrealistic mitigation measures not supported by science in an attempt to mitigate inaccurately presumed effects. These mitigation measures will impose serious burdens on industry, likely discourage exploration of the Atlantic, and will result in no benefits to protected species. This approach is contrary to both the best available scientific information and applicable law. 

"The industry has worked in a constructive manner with regulators worldwide as they have developed regulations on geophysical operations. IAGC supports science- and risk-based regulations consistent with existing practices that are proven to be effective, and operationally feasible. We cannot support mitigation measures that address effects that will not occur and have no basis in fact or science. The government's analysis should be based on real-world observations from many decades of research and experience. The best science and research, including the Department of Interior's own studies, show that seismic surveys have little to no effect on marine mammal populations. Upon the release of the final programmatic environmental impact statement, the industry urged BOEM to include in its ROD modifications that best support the best available science and applicable law." 

About IAGC
IAGC is the international trade association representing the industry that provides geophysical services (geophysical data acquisition, seismic data ownership and licensing, geophysical data processing and interpretation, and associated service and product providers) to the oil and gas industry.

More information on IAGC and the geophysical industry can be found at and

For reference material on Marine Mammal Protection, see

For a video overview of marine seismic operations, see