The Issue: The oil and gas industry is one of the most active industries on the continental margins and continues to expand into the deep sea. The potential impacts of this development were profoundly illustrated by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout event, and the risks of additional incidents increase as activity moves deeper and deeper. There are a wide variety of regulations regarding the survey and management of deep-water areas licensed for oil and gas activities, including different approaches to minimising impacts to vulnerable marine ecosystems. Scientific input is critically important for policy and regulatory developments.
The Working Group: The Oil & Gas working group aims to facilitate science-policy engagement on deep sea issues relevant to oil and gas. One of the primary goals for this group is to provide a set of “best practice” recommendations for resource managers to apply within and beyond national jurisdiction. The group currently has 74 members.