After my participation on a Canadian government expert group looking at offshore oil and gas noise, I headed west to Banff for my second appearance as a plenary speaker at the Alberta oil and gas industry’s biannual Spring Noise Conference. Here, participants are largely agency staff and noise control contractors, with a few oil and gas companies participating as well. Alberta has a vibrant oil and gas industry (read: most important economic driver for the Province), and while the landscape is heavily tapped by traditional oil and natural gas drilling, coalbed methane development, surface coal mining, and, infamously, oil sands development, Alberta’s noise regulations are among the most stringent in the world: impact on neighbors cannot exceed 5dB above the local ambient noise conditions. This year’s conference (and the very informative pre-conference workshop I attended) expanded from its roots in oil and gas development, to include wind farms.
At last month’s Arctic Frontiers conference, Einar Svendsen, research director at the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research noted that fish stocks have rebounded nicely in Norwegian waters, but that increasing oil and gas exploration activities could pose a danger. According to the Nature.com blog In the Field, he strongly advised that no seismic surveys be conducted during the spawning season. See the full post by Quirin Schiermeier
The Arctic Frontiers conference included presentations on new research findings in the arctic, the possible implications of global warming and regional melting, and oil and gas development strategies. You can download all presentations and view video of the proceedings at the Arctic Frontiers website.