GAO Report on Offshore Seismic Surveys Details Agency Noncompliance with Federal Statutes

Houston, Texas, UNITED STATES

Houston, TX (US), Jan. 04, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nikki Martin, President of the International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC), today issued the following statement regarding the Government Accountability Office report on permitting offshore seismic surveys: 

 “In response to a request from Chairman Rob Bishop (UT) of the House Committee on Natural Resources, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report on offshore seismic surveys. The GAO report details the numerous administrative failures, specifically within National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), that have contributed to the current quagmire surrounding the issuance of Incidental Harassment Authorizations (IHAs) for seismic surveys in the Atlantic OCS.

“Further, the report validates the need for Congress to pass the SECURE Act to provide clear direction and common-sense timelines for the processing of seismic permit application and authorization requests.

 “While the Marine Mammal Protection Act requires the agencies to make decisions on IHA applications within 120 days, IAGC members’ applications for seismic surveys in the Atlantic OCS have been pending for 892 days!  This unwarranted and continued stalling represents a complete bureaucratic breakdown in an otherwise straightforward process by federal agencies. 

“We urge NMFS to implement guidance to aid analysts and applicants to track when applications are adequate and complete, acknowledge their failure to meet existing statutory timelines, and issue decisions on the five pending Atlantic seismic IHA applications without further delay.

“The IAGC applauds Chairman Bishop’s leadership and commitment to hold Federal Agencies accountable to their statutory mandated timelines and rule of law for the consideration of seismic survey permit applications.”


About the IAGC

The IAGC represents more than 125 member companies worldwide that provide geophysical services (geophysical data acquisition, seismic data ownership and licensing, geophysical data processing and interpretation, and associated service and product providers) to the oil and gas industry and is the only trade organization solely dedicated to representing the geophysical industry.  The IAGC the leader in geophysical technical and operations expertise and for more than 46 years, the IAGC has worked to optimize the business and regulatory climate and enhances public understanding to support a strong, viable geophysical industry essential to discovering and delivering the world’s energy resources. 


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at