The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has concluded an extensive program of acquisition of 2D seismic around the Arctic island of Jan Mayen.
A total of 9 470 kilometres (64 linjes) have been acquired in this area. In the early morning hours of 10 August, the vessel Nordic Explorer concluded the acquisition of 2D seismic around Jan Mayen, an operation that has been underway since 5 June. The vessel has now completed its assignment for the NPD and has been demobilized, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s web site reads.
”The NPD has an extensive seismic program this summer. When the acquisition activity in the northern part of the Barents Sea winds up in mid-October, we expect to have acquired nearly 30,000 kilometers in the Barents Sea, around Jan Mayen and in the Nordland IV and V areas,” says Sissel Eriksen, director of exploration in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.
She is very satisfied with this summer’s operations: ”The acquisition has exceeded all expectations. We have achieved high production with zero disruptions.”
”The areas being surveyed this summer are not open for petroleum activities, and we know little about the subsurface there. This mapping will provide us with important knowledge about these areas of the Norwegian shelf,” Eriksen says.
In March 2011 Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy announced that 180 million NOK will be spent on oil and gas mapping of the Jan Mayen waters in the period 2012-2014.
The Norwegian Climate and Pollution Authority fears that drilling in the area will affect the vulnerable Arctic nature, stating that there are not sufficient preparedness facilities in the area. “Even a small spill will most probably have major consequences for the vulnerable flora and fauna”, the authority warned in a press release and underlined that more knowledge about the local sea bottom, the fish resources, surveillance and preparedness is needed.
The Jan Mayen waters have major fish resources and is the home to significant bird colonies. Climatic conditions in the area are harsh.