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§ 53 Baseline surveys

To map the environmental status, the operator shall carry out baseline surveys
  1. before exploration drilling in new and previously unsurveyed exploration areas,
  2. before exploration drilling in areas where there are proven vulnerable environmental values (species and habitats), or where their existence is likely,
  3. before production drilling.
Baseline surveys of the sediments and relevant fauna elements on the seabed shall be performed and reported in accordance with the Guidelines for environmental monitoring of the petroleum activities offshore (M-300) (in Norwegian only). A baseline survey is valid for six years unless the Norwegian Environment Agency decides otherwise as far as duration is concerned.
Section last changed: 01 January 2016

The scope of baseline surveys as mentioned in the first subsection, may be adjusted to the need for obtaining new knowledge.
The scope of the surveys as mentioned in the first subsection, litera a, depends inter alia on the distance to areas that have been surveyed earlier, and benthic conditions.
The scope of the surveys as mentioned in the first subsection, litera b, depends inter alia on which vulnerable environmental values (species and habitats) that may be expected in the area. Vulnerable environmental values may include coral reefs, sponges, spawning grounds (sandeel).
The Norwegian Environment Agency may, following a concrete in-each-case assessment, alter the duration of a baseline survey. Experience has shown that it is mostly a question of prolonging the duration. If the Environment Agency alters the duration of a baseline survey, it will be effectuated as an administrative decision, which must be notified beforehand and justified, and which can be appealed against.