پیشبرد ارزیابی زیست محیطی استراتژیک در بخش نفت و گاز : تجارب حاصل از نروژ، کانادا، و انگلستان
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|5716||2012||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9390 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Volume 34, April 2012, Pages 12–21
Abstract: Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) for offshore oil and gas planning and development is utilized in select international jurisdictions, but the sector has received limited attention in the SEA literature. While the potential benefits of and rationale for SEA are well argued, there have been few empirical studies of SEA processes for the offshore sector. Hence, little is known about the efficacy of SEA offshore, in particular its influence on planning and development decisions. This paper examines SEA practice and influence in three international offshore systems: Norway, Atlantic Canada and the United Kingdom, with the intent to identify the challenges, lessons and opportunities for advancing SEA in offshore planning and impact assessment. Results demonstrate that SEA can help inform and improve the efficacy and efficiency of project-based assessment in the offshore sector, however weak coordination between higher and lower tiers limit SEA's ability to influence planning and development decisions in a broad regional environmental and socioeconomic context.
The shift from managing individual projects to more regional and integrative approaches has begun to take root internationally in environmental management. This is also the case in environmental assessment (EA), which has been subject to much criticism for its focus on individual project actions (see Cashmore et al., 2008 and Harriman Gunn and Noble, 2009a). The constraints of project-based EA are widely recognized and include inadequate consideration of cumulative effects and development thresholds (Duinker and Greig, 2006); insufficient regional baseline data to detect environmental change (Dubé, 2003); loss of mitigation opportunities because assessment occurred too late in the development sequence (Vicente and Partidário, 2006); and limited public influence over the direction of development activity (O'Faircheallaigh, 2010). As a result, there is now a collective understanding that EA must go beyond the evaluation of site-specific project impacts to consider the broader policy and regional planning context in which development projects operate (Noble and Harriman, 2008 and Partidário, 2000). The need for a strategic approach to EA is especially recognized in the context of offshore hydrocarbon planning and development (see Beaufort Sea Strategic Regional Plan of Action (BSStRPA), 2008, Davey et al., 2000, Horvath and Barnes, 2004 and Kinn, November 1999). Offshore hydrocarbon projects operate in a large network of infrastructure; the risks to marine environments are often high on a global scale (Campagna et al., 2011 and Wagner and Armstrong, 2010); and by their very nature such projects require regional and strategic coordination (Salter and Ford, 2001, Spiridonov, 2006 and WWF World Wildlife Fund, 2005). Public attention has typically been less concerned with offshore versus onshore energy developments (see Haggett, 2011). But, with recent spill events in the Gulf of Mexico drawing international attention to the offshore sector (see Amos, 2011), there is a growing international debate about the risks and benefits of offshore hydrocarbon activity and the need for improved planning and impact assessment processes. Recognition of the limits of project-based EA in proactively planning and managing oil and gas activities in offshore environments has been instrumental to the adoption of regional and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) systems (Environment Canada, 2004 and Horvath and Barnes, 2004). There are now various forms of SEA for offshore energy planning and impact assessment ongoing internationally (see Hasle et al., 2009 and Wagner and Jones, March 2004). However, while the potential benefits of and rationale for SEA are well argued (CCME Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, 2009, Environment Canada, 2004, Harriman Gunn and Noble, 2009a and Johnson et al., 2011), there have been few empirical investigations of SEA in the offshore oil and gas sector with a view to understanding the efficacy of SEA and, in particular, its influence on planning and development. The majority of research on SEA in general, and in the energy sector in particular, has focused on terrestrial systems (see Jackson and Dixon, 2006, Jay, 2010, Marshall and Fischer, 2006, Noble, 2002 and Noble, 2008). There has been very little consolidation of international experiences with SEA offshore, and thus few opportunities for transferable learning. There is a need for a better understanding of the nature and efficacy of SEA in the offshore energy sector and its role in planning and development decisions. This is particularly important for emerging energy frontiers, such as Canada's western Arctic, where planning for offshore hydrocarbon development continues to occur on a project-by-project basis (Voutier et al., 2008). As international attention turns to the Arctic to meet global energy demands, there is increased recognition of the need to advance upstream impact assessment and decision-making to plan for energy development prior to ramping-up individual energy projects (see Arctic Council, 2009, IGC Inuvialuit Game Council, June 21, 2004 and WWF World Wildlife Fund, 2005). However, as Ketilson (2011) explains, both industry and government remain sceptical about SEA offshore, noting its ‘unproven benefits’. This paper examines international experiences with SEA in the offshore oil and gas sector and the lessons emerging from practice. Based on SEA offshore in Norway, Atlantic Canada and the United Kingdom (UK), our objective is to identify common lessons and opportunities to advance the efficacy of SEA as a means to influence offshore hydrocarbon planning and development decisions. We use the term ‘SEA’ to be inclusive of both legislated and informal SEA, including regional EAs and both single and multi-sector strategic planning and assessment frameworks. In the sections that follow we first introduce SEA in three international offshore systems, followed by an analysis of SEA practice and its influence on offshore oil and gas development decisions. We conclude with a discussion of the lessons emerging and the implications for advancing SEA for offshore planning and assessment.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Strategic environmental assessment for offshore oil and gas planning and development is on-going internationally in select jurisdictions, but the sector has received limited attention in the SEA literature. There have been few empirical studies of SEA processes for the offshore sector, and little is known about how SEA influences and improves planning and development. Based on experiences in Norway, Canada, and the UK we argue that SEA offshore is following in the footsteps of its predecessor, project-based EA. Regardless of SEA context, we found limited ability of SEA offshore to operationalize CEA at a regional level; limited attention to addressing broader socioeconomic concerns though participation and engagement; a process often too narrowly scoped to generate the benefits often expected of SEA; and too little attention to maximizing downstream influence through tiering processes. Context is important to consider when reviewing the nature and efficacy of SEA systems; by applying a set of normative criteria we found that in many respects the limitations to SEA offshore are a direct result of context – specific regulatory or capacity constraints on SEA systems and on its ability to influence decision processes. In conclusion, the assumption that SEA is a solution to the shortcomings of project-based EA in the offshore oil and gas sector, and can help inform and improve the efficacy and efficiency of project-based assessment, was not consistently supported across all three systems reviewed. International experience suggests that SEA administered in the offshore for strictly petroleum licensing, and managed by a single authority, will be inherently restrictive in nature and challenge the delivery of influential SEA. To effectively deliver on the benefits of SEA, and to ensure appropriate planning for the onshore impacts of offshore development, a multi-sectoral approach is required in the offshore environment, with direct tiering and terms and conditions for project-specific developments and regional monitoring programs. Though there are multiple models of SEA for offshore planning and development, a consistent message is that without clear coordination between higher and lower tiers, SEA will fail to achieve not only its objective, but decisions about offshore development will continue to be made in a restrictive environmental and socioeconomic context.