Falklands : North Falkland Basin: Environmental Impact Assessment
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 24.02.2006 (Article Archived on 10.03.2006)
Non toxic water-based muds will be used.
NORTH FALKLAND BASIN: ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT
By J. Brock (FINN)
Dr Colin Phipps, Chairman of Desire Petroleum plc, is visiting the Falkland Islands with Mr. Ian Duncan, Chief Executive of Desire Petroleum plc, Mr. John Perry, principle author of the Environmental Impact Assessment and Mr. Mark Gillard, a Drilling Engineer. On the evening of Wednesday, 22 February the team gave a presentation at the Chamber of Commerce and explained the main points of the Environmental Impact Assessment, which is on Desire plc’s website.
Mr. Gillard said that Desire planned to drill three exploratory wells and he showed graphics that indicated how the wells would be drilled and how deep they would be. He said the project would take approximately 70 days, with supplies and personnel being ferried out to the rig using two supply boats. One boat would stay near the rig for Safety reasons.
Mr. John Perry of RPS Energy presented a very thorough set of slides that explained some of the impact issues, such as rig to air pollution, rig to water pollution, noise pollution. Assessments were also done with respect to seabirds, Marine Mammals and fish. The key points of the baseline study also dealt with Met-Ocean, Socio-economic issues, land and protected areas and species, as well as waste management. There would be no “flaring,” for example.
In mitigation, the assessment sought to reduce the impact to the environment to the lowest possible level.
Questions from those present dealt mainly with the drilling muds that are a necessity in the hydrocarbons industry. Mr. Perry reassured that only water-based non toxic muds would be used.
Several mechanisms have been in place since the 1997/98 drilling sessions in the North Falkland Basin. As in the past, EMS – Standard Offshore Monitoring Protocol would be in place to ensure the environmental and safety aspects pointed out in the Environmental Impact Assessment would be carried out. Besides that, people with a keen interest in the environment – pilots, scientists, fishermen – you and I – would be reporting any infringements.
The possibility of a users’ group was thought to be a good idea. Dr. Phipps said that since the Environmental Impact Assessment was published on the Desire website there had been some useful feedback that would be incorporated in methods and practices.