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  • This report is a contribution to the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA5) conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (now Department of Energy and Climate Change). This report assesses the socio-economic implications of licensing the SEA 5 area and sets out the results in relation to: oil and gas production, and reserves; capital, operating and decommissioning expenditure; employment; tax revenue; social impacts. The Department of Trade and Industry provided scenarios of possible exploration and development activity in the area and these scenarios were converted into optimistic and pessimistic scenarios. They were then used to produce forecasts of: oil and gas production; oil and gas reserves; expenditure; employment; and tax revenues. The implications for existing facilities in the area are discussed and the potential social impacts.

  • This report is a contribution to the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA7) conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (now Department of Energy and Climate Change). This report assesses the socio-economic implications of further oil and gas licensing the SEA7 area. The Department of Trade and Industry provided scenarios of possible exploration and development activity in the area and these scenarios were converted into optimistic and pessimistic scenarios. They were then used to produce forecasts of: oil and gas production; oil and gas reserves; expenditure; employment; and tax revenues. The implications for existing facilities in the area are discussed and the potential social impacts. An underpinning report, Economic and Social Baseline Study, is also available.

  • As part of the Department of Trade and Industry's (now Department of Energy and Climate Change) Strategic Environmental Assessment SEA2 a survey was undertaken in May/June 2001 for areas in the central and southern North Sea. This report summarises the sediment trace and heavy metal data generated from the analyses of selected samples from the three main study areas: the major sandbanks off the coast of Norfolk and Lincolnshire in the southern North Sea (SNS); the Dogger Bank in the SNS; and the pockmarks in the Fladen Ground vicinity of the central North Sea.

  • This report is a contribution to the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA4) conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (now Department of Energy and Climate Change). This report summarises the geological history of the SEA4 area from Pre-Cambrian times to the present day, sets the framework in which oil and gas fields have been discovered to the west of Shetland, and discusses the seismicity of the area. A generalised geological map of the area is presented and three approximately NW-SE trending sections across the southern part of the SEA4 area are shown. The petroleum geology of the area is reviewed and the geological settings in which oil has been found at the Clair, Foinaven, Schiehallion and Loyal oilfields is described. Other hydrocarbon fields to the west of Shetland, for which there are no immediate development plans, are briefly touched on. The seismicity of the SEA4 area, which is very low, is discussed.

  • This report is a contribution to the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA6) conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (now Department of Energy and Climate Change). The study area dealt with in this report includes all of the Irish Sea that falls within Irish Jurisdiction. The report is intended to complement a similar study of UK waters in the Irish Sea undertaken as part of the UK Government's Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA6). The aim of this report is to present an up-to-date overview of all relevant data concerning methane-derived authigenic carbonate and features associated with shallow gas and seabed fluid flow in the Irish sector of the western Irish Sea. It presents a detailed assessment of potential gas sources and migration pathways, shallow gas, gas-related seabed structures and evidence of present day gas seepage in the study area.

  • This report is a contribution to the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA3) conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (now Department of Energy and Climate Change) and is an addendum to "SEA2 Technical report 008 - North Sea Geology, covering subsurface geology, sea-bed sediments, sediment mobility and seismicity." by same authors. The geology of the North Sea from the Palaeozoic era to the present day is reviewed, with reference to petroleum geology. Geological factors affect the environmental consequences of oil and gas exploitation in many different ways. For example, in the case of the Ekofisk oilfield in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, oil production led to seafloor subsidence of a few metres due to its chalk reservoir, but production-related subsidence on this scale is atypical. The evolution of the geomorphology and composition of the shallow and seabed sediments is discussed. The distribution of mud, sand, gravel and hard substrates influence the nature of the benthos and can affect the way in which contaminants are accumulated and transported. Shallow seabed sediments support the foundations of structures ranging from platforms to pipelines. Hydrogeological conditions and the risk of pollution to aquifers are also reviewed.

  • As part of the UK Department of Trade and Industry's (now Department of Energy and Climate Change) sectorial Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) programme a seabed survey programme (SEA2) was undertaken in May/June 2001 for areas in the central and southern North UKCS. This report summarises the sediment total hydrocarbon and aromatic data generated from the analyses of selected samples from three main study areas: area 1 (sand bank/wave study areas, Norfolk Coast), Area 2 (Dogger Bank transects) and Area 3 (South Fladen pockmark study areas of the central North Sea).

  • This report is a contribution to the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA2) conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (now Department of Energy and Climate Change). SEA2 focuses on the mature areas of the North Sea UK continental shelf which is divided into 3 areas - Northern, Central and Southern North Sea. This paper provides an overview of cephalopods - squid, octopus, cuttlefish in the SEA2 area. Cephalopods are short-lived, carnivorous animals that have rapid growth rates and play an important part in oceanic and coastal food webs. They are preyed on by cetaceans, fish and seabirds, and are predators themselves, feeding on fish, crustaceans, molluscs and cephalopods. Knowledge of cephalopod distribution in Scottish waters is mainly based on information from commercial whitefish vessels that catch squid as a by-catch. The loliginid squid Loligo forbesi is the predominant species. English cephalopod landings are dominated by cuttlefish caught in the English Channel outside the area of interest. The benthic octopod Eledone cirrhosa, though a highly valued species in southern Europe, is usually discarded by fishermen in Scottish waters. Fishery management statistics indicate that the areas of highest abundance of Loligo forbesi and of Eledone cirrhosa lie outside the SEA2 area. Cephalopods naturally accumulate high levels of trace metals. The potential of drilling operations to introduce trace metals into the sea is discussed. It is concluded that the overall impact on cephalopods and cephalopod fisheries in the SEA2 area by further oilfield development would be slight.

  • This report is a contribution to the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA2) conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (now Department of Energy and Climate Change). SEA2 focuses on the mature areas of the North Sea UK continental shelf which is divided into 3 areas - Northern, Central and Southern North Sea. The socio-economic effects of licensing the SEA2 area are discussed. The scope of the study includes estimates of the reserves which might be discovered and developed, and the related exploration, appraisal, development and decommissioning costs. The possible phasing of these activities through time is also examined. The effects of the development of new fields in extending the lives of existing ones and the implications for the provision of necessary infrastructure onshore are also examined. The employment generated directly and indirectly in the 3 sub-areas is estimated. The distinction is made between employment at the various stages in the exploration, development and production activities. The significance of the employment opportunities provided for the long-term maintenance of a skilled workforce is also considered.

  • This report is a contribution to the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA7) conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (now Department of Energy and Climate Change) and deals with the shellfish resources and their commercial fisheries within SEA7. Exploited species of shellfish are found in the SEA7 zone occupying all types of habitat and distributed over a considerable range of depths, from the littoral zone down to 1000m. These species provide important fisheries and make vital contributions to the economy of remote communities on the west coast of Scotland. The main species reviewed in this report are: Norway lobster; European Lobster; Crawfish; Edible crab; Velvet swimming crab; Shore crab; Red crabs; Giant scallop; Queen scallop; Cockle; Common mussel; Razor shells; Whelks; Periwinkle