An Environmental Baseline Study (EBS) is a part of BHP’s HSE requirements for entering into any areas of operations. As Petroleum entered Mexico as part of the Trion contract and began an EBS, the main objectives were to fulfil the monitoring requirements enacted by Mexico’s environmental regulatory agency (ASEA) and to document environmental status of the area prior to the start of operations. The ASEA required sediment and water sampling, box core samples and SPI (Sediment Profile Images). In addition to the EBS sample collection, existing conditions of the Trion-1 and Trion-1DL well heads and surrounding seafloor are documented using a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV).
The EBS was submitted in November 2017 with the work resulting in numerous data, videos and photos, some of which are helping to increase the scientific knowledge of the area.
Adriana Garcia, Manger HSE, provided her thoughts on the results of the EBS, “The EBS provided a descriptive and quantitative record of environmental abiotic and biotic conditions over the area and range of habitat type at the Trion field prior to the onset of BHP exploration and development activities. SPIs are not normally used during the EBS, as they are routinely used to monitor the environmental impacts of dredged material disposal and characterize the sediment quality, but we are seeing a lot of value in capturing these images. The results were conclusive to our expectation.
In terms of diversity, as is typical for the GoM, flat-view images captured epifaunal organisms during this study, including branched bryozoans, red shrimp, red and white starfish, and ophiuroids, helping us to better understand the current environmental conditions and the biodiversity of the area.”