Update to NOPSEMA’s ongoing compliance monitoring of the Baleen seismic survey

26 April 2018

Following the recent completion of the Baleen 2D HR Seismic Survey, NOPSEMA continues to monitor compliance of Asset Energy to ensure they meet all their obligations under the Environment Plan and General Direction issued in relation to the survey.

The seismic survey was conducted off the Newcastle coast from 15-19 April, with two NOPSEMA Inspectors and two specialist mammal observers on board the survey vessel throughout the duration of the activity. No whales were observed during the survey activities, however, a pod of bottlenose dolphins was sighted on 16 April. NOPSEMA’s Inspectors observed that all mitigation controls required under the Environment Plan including a shutdown of the seismic sound source were implemented in a timely manner, and the pod of dolphins left the area shortly after arriving. No observations were made of any distressed, injured or dead marine fauna during the seismic activities by NOPSEMA’s Inspectors.

NOPSEMA is aware of the claims of whale remains washing up on beaches, and NOPSEMA will work with the appropriate NSW Government authorities should they determine an investigation is warranted. The Environment Plan accepted by NOPSEMA for the seismic survey included a range of controls to protect whales and other marine fauna. NOPSEMA is confident these controls ensured that no whales were injured during the survey activity.

Asset Energy is now required to prepare an Environment Performance Report to NOPSEMA’s satisfaction. Once accepted by NOPSEMA, Asset Energy will be required to publish the report on their website.