RDC supports Apache survey
RDC is supporting the issuance of a proposed letter of authorization for the incidental take of marine mammals between March 2015 through February 2020 during Apache Corporation’s offshore seismic survey operation in Cook Inlet.
Given the need for new and sustainable natural gas supplies in Southcentral and Interior Alaska, the proposed seismic survey could ultimately lead to the development of much needed energy resources for Alaska’s most populous regions, RDC said in a letter to the National Marine Fisheries Service. “The survey is clearly in the public interest as it could give Apache the information it needs to potentially secure a stable source of energy for local communities and utilize a valuable resource for Alaskans,” RDC said.
Although oil and gas production has been occurring in Cook Inlet for more than 50 years, the potential for new significant discoveries is high. In the past five years, there has been a revival of industry activity in the region. In 2014, Cook Inlet oil production increased by 25 percent and has nearly doubled since 2010 to 16,288 barrels per day.
Apache has acquired over 850,000 acres of oil and gas leases in Cook Inlet since 2010. The size of the survey area and the activities proposed for the upcoming surveys in the 2015-2020 seasons are essentially the same as those conducted during Apache’s previous surveys in 2012 and 2014. The measures and operating standards imposed by the company in the earlier surveys were exceptional. Apache operated in full compliance of the previous permits.
With proposed mitigation and monitoring, no injuries or mortalities to marine mammals are anticipated as a result of the proposed seismic survey. No data indicates that the beluga whale population was adversely affected from the previous surveys.
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