The Issue: The oil and gas industry is one of the most active industries on the continental margins. This is predominantly within national exclusive economic zones (EEZs), but continues to expand into deeper waters further offshore. The potential impacts of this development were profoundly illustrated by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout event. The risks of additional incidents increase as activity moves deeper and deeper. Within different EEZs, there are a wide variety of regulations regarding the survey of deep-water areas prior to oil and gas leasing and the acceptable set-back distances from vulnerable marine ecosystems once they are discovered. 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 issues relevant to oil and gas. One of the primary goal 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.