There is an increase in the industrialization of the deep sea that is occurring worldwide. The oil and gas industry is one of the most active industries on the continental margins. This is typically within national exclusive economic zones (EEZs), but continues to expand into deeper waters further offshore.
The potential impacts of this development were profoundly illustrated by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout event. The risks of additional incidents increase as our industrialization moves deeper and deeper.
Within different EEZs, there are a wide variety of regulations regarding the survey of deep-water areas prior to oil and gas leasing and the acceptable set-back distances from vulnerable marine ecosystems once they are discovered. One of the primary goals of the DOSI Oil & Gas working group is to provide a set of “best practice” recommendations for resource managers to apply within and beyond various nations’ exclusive economic zones.
Working Group Activities:
- Review article published September 2016: Cordes EE, Jones DOB, Schlacher TA, Amon DJ, Bernardino AF, Bett BJ, Brooke S, Carney R, DeLeo DM, Dunlop KM, Escobar E, Gates AR, Génio L, Gobin J, Henry L-A, Herrera S, Hoyt S, Joye S, Kark S, Mestre NC, Metaxas A, Pfeifer S, Sink K, Sweetman AK, Witte U. (2016) Environmental impacts of the deep-water oil and gas industry: a review to guide management strategies. Front. Environ. Sci. 4: 58. doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2016.00058 http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fenvs.2016.00058/full
Working Group Activities (Current & Planned):
- Active discussion of emerging offshore regulatory issues
- Raise oil & gas stewardship issue across EEZs
- Review of regulations: a) identify issues via a questionnaire, b) identify adequacy of industry baseline surveys and impact assessments
- Work on standardization of metrics across regions
- Development of “Best Practices” advisory document with stakeholder engagement