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Electromagnetic surveys have no adverse effect on marine life - IAGC study

Friday, November 11, 2011

A study into the effect of offshore electromagnetic surveys on marine life, funded by the International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC), has determined that the surveys are safe.


More specifically, the survey determined that "EM sources as presently used have no potential for significant effects on animal groups such as fish, seabirds, sea turtles, and marine mammals."

In addition, cumulative effects from EM surveys are negligible compared to natural EM anomalies, induced fields from natural water currents, and anthropogenic EM sources such as those originating from undersea equipment.

The Environmental Impact Assessment was funded by member companies in IAGC's electromagnetics subcommittee, and prepared by LGL Limited environmental research associates.

The study aimed to provide a comprehensive resource summarizing available literature and potential effects of EM technologies on marine life.

It provides a basic description of EM survey technologies, naturally-occurring EM fields, and the potential use of these fields by diverse animal groups. The assessment focuses on survey activities considered to have at least some potential to affect marine animals, such as EM, noise, light emissions, and accidental events.

The electromagnetic receivers are usually deployed on the seafloor then retrieved, although tests are underway with a system which tows the receivers underwater, IAGC says.

Environmental Impact Assessment of Electromagnetic Techniques used for Oil & Gas Exploration & Production is available for download in pdf format from the IAGC website. www.iagc.org



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