NOPSEMA has accepted the Prion 3D Marine Seismic Survey environment plan submitted by Beach Energy subject to conditions.
Beach Energy is the Operator of Retention Leases T/RL2,T/RL4 and T/RL5 in the Commonwealth waters of Bass Strait and is proposing to undertake the Prion 3D marine seismic survey (MSS) over these leases.
The Prion 3D MSS is scheduled to commence at any time between September 2021 and August 2023, with no acquisition over the January to April (inclusive) period to account for the foraging blue whale season, for a total duration of 40 days (including 25 days of acquisition).
NOPSEMA made its decision in accordance with the requirements of the Environment Regulations, relevant plans of management and threatened species recovery plans developed under the EPBC Act, and relevant guidance published by the Department of the Environment and Energy. This included consideration of information provided by relevant persons and through the public comment process.
NOPSEMA has imposed conditions on the acceptance of the EP to ensure a high level of protection to the environment, in recognition of the region's values and sensitivities. The conditions are designed to ensure the protection of blue whales and appropriate ongoing communication with stakeholders that may be affected by the activity.
The environment plan also commits to providing a Fair Ocean Access procedure for affected scallop and octopus fishers to claim compensation for any proven economic loss caused by the activity.
Click here for more information on the accepted environment plan and NOPSEMA’s key matters report.