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New publication: Determining the Environmental Impact of Marine Vibrator Technology

We are delighted to announce this new publication.

This guideline provides an understanding of the potential environmental impact and/or benefit of marine vibrator technology. Building upon previously completed JIP work on this topic, this study uses available source measurements from a variety of marine vibrator designs (including prototypes) in order to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of marine vibrator technology.

This report is available to download from the Sound and Marine library.


World’s Premier Scientists Gather for Joint Industry Sound and Marine Life 3rd Academic Research Programme Review Meeting

Nearly $60M USD invested to academic research oil and gas activities’ interaction with marine life

The Hague, The Netherlands – 14 September 2018 – The Exploration and Production Sound & Marine Life Joint Industry Programme (JIP) held its third Programme Review Meeting 9-14 September 2018 at the Carlton Beach Hotel in The Hague, Netherlands. The meeting featured more than 20 presentations from top researchers on how oil and gas exploration and production sound interacts with marine life. The presentations focused on marine life behavioural response, physical and physiological response, monitoring and mitigation tools, and sound source characterisation and propagation.

The 3rd Programme Review Meeting of the E&P Sound and Marine Life Joint Industry Programme met in combination with the 6th International Meeting on the Effects of Sound on Marine Mammals (ESOMM). The by-invitation-only meeting hosted more than 180 attendees.

Increased understanding of the effect of sound generated by oil and natural gas exploration and production (E&P) activity on marine life helps governments make regulatory decisions based on sound science and the industry develop effective mitigation strategies for any potential impacts.

While the sea is filled with a wide variety of natural and man-made sound, there has been a particular interest in E&P sound generated by seismic surveys. Seismic surveys are widely used in oil and natural gas exploration and are absolutely vital to the industry. Used around the world for more than five decades, seismic survey data produce maps or models that indicate the earth’s geography, stratigraphy, rock distribution and geological structure delineation. Interpretation of that seismic survey data allows exploration teams understand the geology beneath the ocean floor and are part of a suite of tools that helps define whether an area is prospective for oil and gas and if there are locations that merit drilling. As such, seismic surveys help to define the number of wells that may be need to be drilled and thus reduce the potential impact on the environment.

Since its inception in 2005, the JIP has invested more than $60M USD to fund more than 100 research studies on E&P sound in the categories of: sound source characterisation & propagation, physical & physiological effects and hearing, behavioural reactions & biological significance, mitigation & monitoring, and research tools. The JIP-funded independent research has been featured in more than 120 peerreviewed publications.

The JIP’s research is designed to support planning of E&P projects and risk assessments, provide the basis for appropriate operational measures that are protective of marine life, and inform policy and regulatory development.


Marine Vibrator RFP

The E&P Sound & Marine Life Joint Industry Programme (JIP) has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to further understand the potential environmental impact and/or benefit of using marine vibrator technology for the acquisition of geophysical data.

There is a range of source technologies and source methods currently under development aimed at delivering an alternative technology to compressed air source for use in geophysical data acquisition. Marine vibrator technology is one such alternative currently under development, and is the technology of specific focus for this RFP. This preliminary desk-top study will evaluate the available source measurements from marine vibrator designs currently under development in order to complete an informed comparison with compressed air sources and better understand the potential environmental impacts of marine vibrator technology and its operating conditions. These impacts could include those which might call for further investigation due to the nature and magnitude of the risk potential identified in this preliminary study.

This study will build upon previous JIP research which completed an environmental assessment of marine vibrator technology using a set of hypothetical source characteristics compared to a conventional compressed air source array.

Applicants will need to demonstrate expertise on acoustics, geophysical exploration sources, data quality and acquisition methods, and the biology of marine mammals, fish, and invertebrates. It also preferable for applicants to have experience of working on Environmental Assessment within the oil & gas industry.

More information on the RFP can be found here

The deadline for submission is 7 October 2016


ONS 2016: International research of the E&P Sound & Marine Life JIP

In recent years, there has been increasing attention on anthropogenic sound in the marine environment, including those associated with oil and gas industry activities. Robust research is key to truly understanding any potential impact of these and other marine activities, and implementing appropriate mitigation measures. The E&P Sound & Marine Life (SML) Joint Industry Program (JIP) is the largest non-government funder of this form of research, which is aimed at increasing technical knowledge for both the sector and the broader academic and stakeholder communities.

View the full article here


Newsletter No.2, August 2016

Note from the Chair: Over the last few months the E&P Sound & Marine Life Joint Industry Programme (JIP) has been busy promoting our research. We have been active at key events, with trade press and on social channels. The JIP has launched on Twitter and managed to secure some important opinion editorials in the trade press which hopefully provide a new approach to sharing our information which reaches new audience. At the same time, the JIP has continued to engage with the academic community. Our sponsorship of this year’s Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life Conference in Dublin is one of the most important forums to promote the JIP’s most recent research findings.

Paul Shone, Chair of the E&P Sound & Marine Life JIP

Download the full Newsletter here (pdf )


Newsletter No.1, December 2015

Note from the Chair: We would like to welcome you to the inaugural E&P Sound & Marine Life Programme newsletter. The purpose of this newsletter is to keep you abreast of the work and research of the International Oil and Gas Producers E&P Sound & Marine Life Joint Industry Programme (JIP). The JIP exists to promote scientific understanding, and therefore we hope this newsletter provides a useful way to access and promote the research of the JIP and the library of information on our website.

Paul Shone, Chair of the E&P Sound & Marine Life JIP

Download the full Newsletter here (pdf / word)


Industry collaboration increases the scientific understanding of the potential effects of E&P sound on marine life

Despite the highly competitive nature of the oil and gas industry, it has a long history of collaboration to develop a better understanding of the potential impacts of its activities. Paul Shone, Chair of the E&P Sound & Marine Life JIP explains how The Joint Industry Programme (JIP) on Exploration & Production (E&P) Sound & Marine Life (SML) drives collaboration on the oil and gas industry’s foremost priority – managing health, safety and environmental issues.

Download the full article here (pdf)


Behavioural Response of Australian Humpback whales to Seismic Surveys

The JIP-funded Behavioural Response of Australian Humpback whales to Seismic Surveys (BRAHSS) has helped to pioneer research into humpback whales’ behavioural and vocal responses to seismic surveys. Prior to the BRAHSS study, there was no data on hearing sensitivity or the behavioural responses of large whales to airgun sound.

The most current reports of this ongoing study have recently being published:

  •  A report that explores response of humpback whales to ramp-up of a small experimental air gun array.
  • report into the behavioural response of humpback whales to a 20 cubic inch air gun.

This research is helping to improve the scientific understanding of E&P activity on humpback whales and also helping to refine additional techniques to further reduce potential impact on whales.