Planned surveys in our northern licences
Equinor has made a commitment to the Argentinian government to carry out 3D seismic surveys in all our licences in the Northern Argentina Basin, within the first exploration period.
There are two survey areas in the Northern Argentina Basin. One covering CAN_114 and one covering CAN_108, extending into CAN_100.
They will be carried out in Federal Waters offshore, more than 300 km south-east and 400 km south of the city of Mar del Plata in the province of Buenos Aires. The CAN_114 licence is located outside the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) of Argentina, in waters dominated by an international fishing fleet. The maximum range of the survey area covers approximately 6,000 km² for the CAN_100 and CAN_108 licences together. The most likely survey area is significantly smaller (<2,000 km²). For the CAN_114 the area to be covered is about 3,500 km².
The plan is to mobilise the seismic vessel from the Port of Buenos Aires. When it is operating in the licence area, the seismic vessel will receive supplies from a supply vessel approximately every two or three weeks. The port most likely to be used for supplies like fuel, food, equipment, or additional personnel, will be Mar del Plata in the Province of Buenos Aires.
According to Equinor’s current plan, the seismic operations will begin during the fourth quarter of 2022. The operations are expected to last for between 100 and 150 days, and they will be ongoing 24 hours a day if the weather conditions allow it.
Equinor’s Impact Assessment
Equinor's Impact Assessment for seismic acquisition in our northern licences was approved by the Argentinian Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development in December 2021.
The Impact Assessment shows that after planned mitigating actions the impacts are LOW for both mammals, sea birds, fish, squids, and turtles.
Examples of mitigating actions to be implemented are:
- Dedicated mammal observers onboard the seismic vessel to monitor and record marine life. Their task is to ensure that animals sensitive to low frequency sounds are not nearby when the sound source is active.
- Use of ‘soft start’. When the sound source is initiated, the sound output is increased slowly to give animals time to move away.
- If animals are observed nearby during the seismic acquisition, the sound output will be paused until they are well outside the exclusion zone defined by the Argentinian authorities
For more information from the Environmental Impact Assessment for seismic in the Northern Argentina Basin, please download the PDF below (Spanish only)
Before starting the operations and throughout the seismic survey, a complaints mechanism will be in place, through which all complaints will be recorded and answered. Information about the mechanism and how to record a grievance will be provided to the fisheries’ representatives closer to the start-up of operations, and directly to the affected fishing boats.
Feedback or questions
An inbox has been set up for potential feedback and questions from interested parties related to our planned seismic in the Northern Argentina Basin. The email address is: ARG_sismica_norte@equinor.com