Rocket Multi Client 2D Marine Seismic Survey Environmental Plan
|Activity type||Seismic survey|
|Submitted by||Spectrum Geo Pty Ltd|
|Submission date||03 October, 2014|
|Decision date||26 November, 2014|
|Link to previously accepted EP|
Ms Jane Conder
Spectrum Geo Pty Ltd (Spectrum) proposes to acquire a multi-client two-dimensional (MC2D) marine seismic survey (Rocket MC2D MSS) within the Houtman Sub-basin offshore from Western Australia (WA), between December 2014 and the end of June 2015. The survey will comprise acquisition of approximately (~) 10,839 line kilometres (km) of 2D seismic data in water depths between ~50 and ~4,000 m.
The Rocket MC2D MSS Phase 1 and Phase 2 operational areas cover a large area of Commonwealth waters off WA. The polygons extend from the North-west Marine Region (NWMR) adjacent to Point Cloates, WA to the northern portion of the South-west Marine Region (SWMR) offshore from Geraldton. The NWMR and SWMR include Commonwealth waters, between the WA State waters boundary (3 nm from the territorial baseline) and the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone boundary (200 nm from the low water mark).
The survey will be divided into two separate phases – Phase 1 and Phase 2, and acquisition will occur within defined operational areas that are located entirely in Commonwealth waters. The Phase 1 operational area, which is located offshore from Gascoyne region between Ningaloo Reef and Shark Bay, incorporates Exploration Permits WA-492-P and WA-493-P and adjacent open acreage areas. The Phase 2 operational area, which incorporates Release Areas W13-19 and W13-20 and adjacent open acreage areas, is located offshore from Kalbarri, between Shark Bay and the Houtman Abrolhos Islands. The Phase 2 operational area excludes the Abrolhos Islands.
The areas defined as the Phase 1 and Phase 2 operational areas are the physical areas used for full power data acquisition along the sail lines, plus an additional area for line run-outs (required to obtain full fold coverage), line turns, line run-ins, soft-start procedures and vessel manoeuvring.
At the closest points, the eastern boundary of the Phase 1 operational area is located ~7.5 km from the boundary of the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Property (WHP) offshore from Point Cloates, and ~5 km from the boundary of the Shark Bay WHP, offshore from Dirk Hartog Island. The minimum separation distance from the boundary of the Phase 1 operational area and the nearest land is ~10 km, at Steep Point. The eastern ends of the 2D lines are separated from the boundaries of the Ningaloo Coast WHP and the Shark Bay WHP by a buffer zone of at least 20 km, ensuring that during line run-outs and line turns neither the survey vessel nor any part of the towed array will enter either the Ningaloo Coast or Shark Bay WHP. Similarly, during line run-outs and line turns along the eastern side of the Phase 1 operational area neither the survey vessel nor any part of the towed array will enter WA State waters.
The Phase 2 operational area incorporates an exclusion zone around the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, which encompasses WA State waters around the islands and the Abrolhos Islands Fish Habitat Protection Area (FHPA - the boundary of which is contiguous with the WA State waters boundary around the islands). At the closest point, the boundary of the Phase 2 operational area is located ~8 km from the Abrolhos Islands FHPA boundary, on the western side of the islands. The ends of the 2D lines in the area to the north and west of the Abrolhos Islands are located at least 15 km from the Abrolhos Islands FHPA boundary, ensuring that during line run-outs and line turns neither the survey vessel nor any part of the towed array will enter WA State waters or the Abrolhos Islands FHPA.
Note: This information has been extracted from the EP Summary. Please refer to the attached EP Summary for more information.