Seismic Survey Outcomes Outweigh Unfounded Speculation

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Seismic surveys are environmentally safe and provide data needed for government officials to make informed decisions about the nation's energy future.

Seismic Vessel conducting a survey

The geophysical industry proudly enables the discovery of resources that ensure access to safe affordable energy around the globe.

The International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC) President Nikki Martin today issued the following statement regarding environmental groups’ attacks on the geophysical and oil and gas industries.

“In recent months, environmental activist groups have increasingly used misinformation targeting geophysical surveys in an effort to halt oil and gas exploration and development. One such example of their propaganda aired this week on U.S. television in an attempt to mislead the public to believe that seismic surveys are harmful to marine life.

Meanwhile, news this week highlights the benefits of using seismic surveys as countries stake their territorial claims in the arctic by mapping the continental shelf adjacent to their boundaries. There is also a documentary screening at film festivals around the world featuring the important research of the Earth Observatory of Singapore using this same geophysical technology to predict and prevent the devastating consequences of earthquakes.

Seismic and other geophysical surveys have been safely conducted in the U.S. and around the globe for more than 50 years. In fact, whether on land or in the ocean, geophysical surveys have numerous applications in addition to oil and gas exploration, including scientific and academic research and pre-development studies for roads and renewable energy facilities.

U.S. Representative Jeff Duncan stated in a Congressional Hearing this week, that we must not put our nation at risk by limiting access to potential U.S. energy resources because of these environmental groups’ use of “fear-mongering tactics” when there is not one single verifiable instance of sound from geophysical surveys harming marine mammal populations.

Protecting the marine environment and oil and gas exploration are not mutually exclusive, and the two successfully coexist every day. The geophysical industry, along with exploration and production (E&P) companies, invests significant resources in research to increase understanding of the effect of sound on marine life generated by oil and gas E&P activity. The research contributes to the knowledge base and helps industry develop effective mitigation strategies for any potential risks that may exist.

The geophysical industry proudly enables the discovery of resources that ensure access to safe affordable energy around the globe and that provide more than 6,000 petroleum-based products, from hospital equipment and smartphones to the vehicles, kayaks, and bicycles environmental activists ride to “keep it in the ground” protests.

Seismic and other geophysical surveys are the critical first step to better understanding the resource potential, providing policy makers and regulators with the information they need to make informed decisions about oil and gas development based on the best available data and not speculation.

The geophysical industry takes a great deal of care and consideration of all aspects of the marine environment and has consistently demonstrated its ability to operate in an environmentally responsible manner. “


About the IAGC

The IAGC represents more than 125 member companies worldwide from all segments of the geophysical industry and is the only trade organization solely dedicated to representing the industry. It is the leader in geophysical technical and operations expertise and for more than 45 years, the IAGC has worked to optimize the business and regulatory climate and enhances public understanding to support a strong, viable geophysical industry essential to discovering and delivering the world’s energy resources.

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International Association of Geophysical Contractors

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