Fishers celebrate CGG seismic setback

FISHING industry bodies are celebrating, albeit presumptively, NOPSEMA’s decision to temporarily knock back an application by CGG Services to conduct a seismic survey of the Gippsland offshore basin in Victoria.
Fishers celebrate CGG seismic setback Fishers celebrate CGG seismic setback Fishers celebrate CGG seismic setback Fishers celebrate CGG seismic setback Fishers celebrate CGG seismic setback

Nationals MP Tim Bull does not want the seismic to be approved as it stands

Paul Hunt

Last week the offshore regulator announced the CGG application did not reasonably satisfy the requirements of environmental regulations, and offered the company an opportunity to modify and resubmit its environmental plan. 
The 13,037 square kilometre three-dimensional seismic survey will be conducted across prime fishing grounds off the coast of Victoria to map possible oil and gas exploration opportunities, and CGG was proposing to acquire the survey on behalf of multiple clients. 
Politicians and fishers celebrated the decision by the offshore regulator, claiming the seismic survey would damage marine life, although independent research has pointed to that not being the case. 
"We were concerned about the size, duration and intensity of the proposed survey," South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association CEO Simon Boag said.
"This area is the fishing grounds for the main supply of fish for the Melbourne and Sydney fish markets." 
Meanwhile Nationals MP for Gippsland East Tim Bull welcomed the news citing concerns over the size of the survey area and lowered catch rates for fishing companies across the basin. 
"Under this proposal, the industry was being asked to leave fishing grounds for five months and then accept lowered catch rates for a year or more following the survey," Bull said. 
The Gippsland Basin is one of Australia's most prolific hydrocarbon provinces with most commercial discoveries found in the Late Cretaceous to Paleogene Latrobe Groups. 
The Victorian Department of Primary Industries estimates remaining reserves to be more than 400 million barrels of liquids and 6 trillion cubic feet of gas. 
CGG's proposed seismic would be conducted from mid-November 2018 to the end of June 2020, to avoid conflicts with other users and marine megafauna. 
If the company is successful in resubmitting a new environmental plan, the seismic will be the largest survey ever undertake in Australia. 
A NOPSEMA spokesperson told Energy News that decisions similar to this were not uncommon, and that CGG could apply for an extension to resubmit its application should it be required.