Contact: John Callahan
After a careful environmental review, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today announced it has approved a permit from Hilcorp Alaska LLC to conduct a geophysical survey in the federal waters of Cook Inlet, off the coast of Southcentral Alaska. The area to be surveyed is in the lower Cook Inlet, west of Kachemak Bay.
Hilcorp expects to begin the survey in late summer or early fall. The company will have 60 days to complete the survey; the exact length of the survey will depend on weather and any schedule adjustments needed to protect marine mammals.
In June 2017, Hilcorp acquired 14 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) blocks from Lease Sale 244. The survey area comprises 42 OCS blocks, including eight of Hilcorp’s 14 leased blocks, covering approximately 969 square kilometers. Data acquired from the survey can be used to identify potential offshore oil and gas resources.
The survey will involve one seismic acquisition vessel and two support vessels. The seismic acquisition vessel will tow the airgun array and the streamers. The support vessels will provide general provisions for the source vessel, including supplies, crew changes, etc. Support vessels will also monitor the in‐water equipment and maintain a security perimeter around the streamers.
Vessel‐based monitoring for marine mammals will be conducted by trained protected species observers deployed on vessels throughout the survey program.
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, BOEM has completed an Environmental Assessment of the proposed action, and issued a Finding of No Significant Impact.
The Hilcorp survey will be the first geophysical survey in Cook Inlet since a July 2005 survey conducted by Veritas DGC.
Full information about Hilcorp’s permit—including a map, the Environmental Assessment and details about the mitigations to be implemented—is available at https://www.boem.gov/gg19-01.