KOC conducted its first 2D Offshore Seismic Acquisition Survey over the State of Kuwait Offshore covering some of the Environmental Sensitive & restricted areas to explore the hydrocarbon potentials in Offshore Areas. The potential environmental effects, risks and control measures were designed to minimize/mitigate the actual and potential risks of the survey.
This Abstract outlines the industry best environmental Practices adopted during the various stages of the project for executing the Seismic Survey in the State of Kuwait Offshore Environment.
The project was first of kind in KOC using fleet of 12 Vessels for carrying out the Seismic Acquisition Survey Operations in the State of Kuwait Offshore and it faced many challenges during the different phases of the project. Various Methods, Procedures & Processes were followed to overcome these challenges by identifying & implementing industry best HSE standards in terms of Geophysical offshore Surveys, Implementing KOC’s HSE Management System Elements, Conducting a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment Study on the survey area, in identifying environmental aspects & identification, Waste management with respect to both national & International waste regulatory requirement in operating offshore.
The project was well planned & properly executed by identifying potential environmental and socio-economic impacts associated with the preparation, operation and abandonment regarding 2D marine seismic activities in the State of Kuwait offshore area, by identifying the Environmental Sensitive areas such as breeding grounds and shallow coral reefs located in the prospect area, it avoid the Acoustic disturbance, especially from Seismic High Pressure Guns on Marine Mammals etc. by following Joint Nature Conservation Committee guidelines for minimizing the risk of injury and disturbance to marine mammals from seismic surveys, the project followed soft start procedure for minimizing the risk of injury to marine mammals, an Offshore Mine Mitigation Measures and Information plan has been prepared to identify and take necessary actions on the possible EODs that may be present in offshore environment, initial hazard survey was carried out to identify significant gradients fishing areas and seafloor features. This helped to avoid and reduce the probability of disturbing the major fishing areas and hazards to specific bottom features.
In spite of many challenges encountered during the different phases of the project, the overall project performance remains @ more than Two Million LTI free Operations with Zero Environmental Incidents.
This paper can give the guidance/benchmark towards the best practices to be followed in terms of HSE for executing any future offshore projects in the State of Kuwait Waters. Investments in these Best Practices for seismic exploration results in fewer impacts and good stakeholder relations for later phases of exploration.