Biophysical research requirements for Beaufort Sea hydrocarbon development : final
FMA Heritage Resources Consultants Inc.
Environmental Studies Research Funds (Canada)
[Calgary, Alta.] : Published under the auspices of the Environmental Studies Research Funds, 2008.
vi, vi, 1-1 - 1-2, 2-1 - 2-2, 3-1 - 3-12, 4-1 - 4-4, 5-1 - 5-70, 6-71 - 6-74, 7-1 - 7-2, 8-1 - 8-13 : map ; 28 cm.
(Environmental Studies Research Funds report, no. 163)
Bibliography: p. 8-1 - 8-13.
Executive Summary also available in French.
Report date: August 2008.
BREA Report Type: Regional Environmental Data Gap Assessment.
BREA Baseline Data: No.
BREA Biophysical / Valued Components: Yes, 12 Valued Environmental Components selected.
BREA Development Scenarios / Activities: Yes, typical hydrocarbon development cycle provided.
BREA Impact Hypotheses: Yes, effects of hydrocarbon development activities on each VEC evaluated.
BREA Environmental Concerns Identified: Yes.
BREA Harvest Concerns Identified: Yes, Traditional Land Use including harvest was selected as a VEC.
BREA Social Concerns Identified: No.
BREA Research / Monitoring Recommendations: Yes, key research priorities to support environmental assessments for oil and gas development in the Canadian Beaufort Sea are provided.
ASTIS record 65885.
KAVIK-AXYS was contracted by the Environmental Studies Research Fund (ESRF) to undertake a review to identify Biophysical Research Requirements (data gaps) for Beaufort Sea Hydrocarbon Development. The objective of the study is to identify and prioritize environmental data gaps relevant to the regulatory review, assessment and management of effects associated with offshore oil and gas exploration and development in the Canadian Beaufort Sea. The geographic scope of the study is illustrated in Figure 2-1. To provide consistency and guidance to the team specialists, KAVIK-AXYS developed and utilized a structured framework for this study: -Identification of important biophysical components of the Beaufort Sea marine environment that could potentially be affected by offshore oil and gas development. -For each of the most important biophysical components, the potential major effects of critical activities or
groups of activities during each phase of the offshore oil and gas development cycle on the component are identified (i.e., an interaction matrix). This includes the risk of affecting the long-term sustainability of the biophysical component in the region and/or the risk of affecting communities and traditional harvesting. The latter takes into account the susceptibility of the biophysical resource and community use to other influences such as environmental effects. Identification of the key types of information, for each interaction for each component, required to: -adequately characterize current baseline conditions prior to the development or the start of a phase; -assess and quantify potential project-specific and cumulative effects on the component; -develop appropriate mitigation or environmental management plans for these effects; -compare existing information and information from ongoing research to
these three major needs (baseline, effects and mitigation) for information; -identify the major gaps between what is known and what is required; -identify key research, data collection and/or data analyses required to address major data gaps. Potential synergies for developing an integrated research program are discussed. The timeframe required to complete this work is noted. Ranking of information needs, based on the following three criteria: -our current understanding of the biophysical component in terms of present status and long-term sustainability, -the potential for oil and gas development to affect the current state and long-term sustainability of the biophysical component in question, -the timeline for completion of the research relative to the expected development cycle for the Beaufort Sea (i.e., the duration of the required research relative to the duration of elements of the development cycle for which such
information is required). As a component of the gap analysis, previous gap analyses reports for the Beaufort Sea and other assorted technical reports were reviewed. It is important to note that a comprehensive literature review was not within the scope of this study, therefore it was assumed that previous gap analyses were accurate. Recent scientific reports and environmental assessments were also reviewed. To efficiently facilitate stakeholder input to the final identification of the key overall research priorities, a series of web-based workshops were held in May 2008. Representatives of industry, government, regulatory and scientific bodies across Canada were invited to attend. Table 6.1 lists the final research priorities and gaps that were determined during the web-based workshops. The studies were selected from the draft lists presented, with adjustments as necessary, based on feedback
from stakeholders during the sessions. The studies are represented in the order in which the VECs appear throughout the main document, and not in order of comparative importance. Each of the research gaps are considered to be a high priority. ...