Noble Energy, Inc. (Noble), and its partners Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) and Delek Drilling (Delek), were assessing the development of gas export pipelines in the Eastern Mediterranean, and commissioned Environics to prepare Form-B EIA for a seafloor multi Beam survey and core sampling in the Egyptian Mediterranean Sea, in order to acquire bathymetric data and investigate the seafloor features to design a proper pipeline route.
The bathymetric survey was carried out through a multi beam echo sounder MBES survey and drop cores using a specialized vessel over the entirety of the Salamat Block, south of Zohr and north of Baltim, Ras El Bar and Port Said.
Environics relied on intensive desktop review based on the previous reports and literature and information provided. Information on the Biological Environment were obtained from previous ESIA studies performed by Environics in the same geographic region on behalf of other Oil & Gas companies (which also include information collected through marine surveys), as well as other sources (that contain species distribution maps and locations of empirical records). The Red List issued by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) was used to determine the international status of species. Brief information on local fisheries were obtained from official data concerning fish catch and fishing effort issued by the General Authority for Fish Resources Development (GAFRD).
The scope of work encompassed the following:
General description of project area, including: physical, biological and social environment, definition of the offshore study area, basin characteristics, climate, air quality, bathymetry, oceanographic conditions, offshore water quality, marine ecology and human environment.
Description of project phases: construction and operation.
Description of project alternatives.
Preparation of a Regulatory Framework describing the relevant national laws and regulations, as well as international standards and conventions such as MARPOL to with which the Project should abide.
Identification and assessment of the potential environmental and social impacts and recommendation of relevant mitigation measures. The impacts were classified according to their significance. The intensity of the impact varied according to the type of activity and its potential severity. The environmental impacts on the receptors (fish, marine turtles, sea birds, marine mammals, fisheries, etc.) and their significance before and after mitigation measures, as well as the impacts from accidental events and their significance before and after mitigation measures were presented.
Preparation of an Environmental & Social Management Plan framework, including required monitoring measures;
Consultation with EGAS concerning submission to EEAA.