The National Energy Board (NEB) has approved a Geophysical Operations Authorization (GOA) application from TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA (TGS), Petroleum GeoServices (PGS) and Multi Klient Invest AS (MKI) to conduct a 2D offshore seismic survey program in Baffin Bay and Davis Strait over five years during the open water season. MKI will be the Project operator.
The Board recognizes the importance of fostering better understanding and communication with all stakeholders that take part in Board processes. Due to the high degree of public interest in this application, the NEB authorized Board Member David Hamilton, under section 15 of the National Energy Board Act, to report and make recommendations on the Project application. The public was then invited to submit written comments to the Board and provide oral comments on the Project at public meetings.
The Board conducted public meetings in Pond Inlet, Clyde River, Qikiqtarjuaq and Iqaluit from 29 April to 2 May 2013. Transcripts from the meetings and all environmental assessment materials are available on the NEB website on the Project’s public registry pages.
Never before has there been this level of public participation in the Board’s Environmental Assessment process for a GOA. Written comments from the public and information gathered from community meetings informed Hamilton’s report, which was considered by the Board before making its decision. The Environmental Assessment report concluded that with the implementation of MKI’s commitments, environmental protection procedures and mitigation measures, and compliance with the Board’s regulatory requirements and conditions, the Project is not likely to result in significant adverse environmental effect.
The GOA issued by the Board is subject to 15 conditions. The conditions include the requirements for MKI to make status updates of environmental commitments and marine mammal observer reports accessible to the public. The marine mammal observer reports may provide information on sightings of whales and birds in offshore areas that would not otherwise be available to the public. MKI is also required to conduct project update meetings in interested communities.
The National Energy Board is an independent federal regulator of several parts of Canada’s energy industry with the safety of Canadians and protection of the environment as its top priority. Its purpose is to regulate pipelines, energy development and trade in the Canadian public interest.
Press Release, June 27, 2014