HOUSTON, TX, September 11, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Scientists like Paul Comet, Houston
, TX, have long had an interest in knowing exactly what lies beneath the ocean floor. They know that there is oil and gas present, but just how much is there? There are several different processes that can help scientists to discover this. One method, the use of "seismic air guns," is the topic of much debate. A recent article
in Valley News outlines the benefits and risks of using this controversial technology. Paul Comet, Houston researcher, reveals his own thoughts on possible solutions.
"Seismic air guns" are devices that blast compressed air to the ocean floor in order to map what lies beneath. This allows scientists to produce a more accurate image and calculation of oil and gas reserves. The controversy with this method lies in the fact that the pulses of air are released every 10 to 15 seconds and are similar in loudness to a roaring jet engine. The vibrations and noise they cause are also potentially harmful to ocean mammals. In addition to battling with this noise, the mammals are also exposed to the sounds produced by shipping and other ocean activities.
People who support this technology believe that it is necessary for further exploration of the ocean floor and safe drilling practices. Chip Gill, president of the International Association of Geophysical Contracts, notes that there is no evidence so far that air guns harm marine animals, and that companies go to great lengths to protect these creatures. But he says that there is a growing need to determine exactly how much oil and gas are under the ocean floor, and banning this technology could delay progress. According to the Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy and Management (BOEM), surveys conducted in the 1980s reveal the potential for "3.3 billion barrels of oil and 31.3 trillion cubic feet of gas off the East Coast."
of 180 decibels could affect the feeding, migration, and behavior of whales, dolphins, and other cetaceans. These animals rely heavily on their hearing to survive in the dark depths of the ocean. If their hearing is damaged, it could have a life-threatening impact.
Paul Comet, Houston researcher, offers his insight. "Migration of marine mammals is a fairly well-known subject and would appear to present several humane solutions to avoid harming marine mammals such as whales, dolphins, and porpoises that possess sonar capabilities by using a 'melon,'" he explains. "Perhaps the simplest approach would be to avoid using sonar apparatus at times when the animals are present, or in other words, when they are known to have migrated into areas of oil exploration. Navy and geophysical sonar interfere with the animals' own sonar reception and terrifies and then damages the animals' 'melon' and probably ears which then 'beach' themselves and die 'en masse.'"
"However, simply noting the timing of Cetacean migrations would allow fairly good prediction of when these animals would not be in the vicinity of industrial sonar apparatus," he continues. "Electronic tagging of some of the animals may also help in monitoring and avoiding their location. Other approaches might include broadcasting the animals' distress calls to drive them away before sonar is used in an area. Probably the safest approach would be to use a combination of these three approaches. By working out a plan that includes Cetacean migration routes and timing, a 'win-win' solution can be envisaged." Paul Comet, Houston researcher, takes an active interest in drilling activities and ocean floor mapping.
Paul Comet, Houston scientist, has developed a wealth of knowledge regarding organic geochemistry. He took part in a project that mapped the entire Gulf of Mexico using a 'petroleum stratigraphy' approach. His research and work have made significant contributions to the scientific world and are featured in many professional publications. In addition to organic chemistry, he also focuses on waste management, petroleum, carbon dioxide emission neutralization, municipal planning, and methods of controlling the carbon cycle.