Overall Objective and Plan

The Norwood Resource’s main objective is to assemble and, where necessary, research the scientific facts pertaining to the oil & gas industry’s operations and the environment and to inform the community about the facts.  As such, once fully established, it will provide a resource from which interested parties can access the scientific facts in an open and transparent manner at no cost to them.

We envisage that the information compiled, collated, reviewed and published by The Norwood Resource will become an educational source of the scientific facts relevant to contentious issues involving the oil & gas industry and the environment as these are frequently misrepresented in the media. As the target audience relies heavily on social media for its information, The Norwood Resource will also rely heavily on social media to ensure that factual scientific information is disseminated.

As stated in the recent speech in May 2013 by the former Federal Resources Minister, Gary Gray, at the APPEA Conference in Brisbane “We need to put evidence and science into the current debate – and balance the misinformation that is being peddled in the public arena, and we need to be robust about it.”

This is effectively the mission of The Norwood Resource.

Subject areas that The Norwood Resource will cover pertaining to oil & gas exploration and production will include:

  • Offshore seismic surveys
  • Coal Seam Gas
  • Fracture stimulation (Fraccing)
  • Water
  • Gas flaring
  • Government and regulation

Other issues will be reviewed and relevant information published as necessary.

The Norwood Resource Incorporated already has access to personnel, some of them being international experts who have extensive expertise in most of the above subject areas.

As an example, the programmes and activities The Norwood Resource proposes to undertake to meet its objectives in the area of offshore seismic surveys and marine life are outlined below.

Similar programmes and procedures  will be developed for the other subject areas (listed above) as the resources (both funding and, in some cases, personnel) become available.

Subject Area:
Offshore seismic surveys and marine life

Programs and Activities to meet planned objectives (Offshore seismic surveys and marine life)

One member of The Norwood Resource has over four decades of scientific and industry experience in the technical design, supervision and management of both onshore and offshore seismic surveys and in monitoring the effects of such offshore surveys on marine life. Since the early 2000’s he has liaised closely with industry practitioners, regulators and researchers and, since his semi-retirement in 2007, has focussed more of his time on the topic. Although he has never worked as a researcher and hence has not needed to publish peer reviewed papers, through his involvement in reviewing research proposals, published papers and environmental submissions for seismic surveys he is able to critically review the science and facts and present the key points in a balanced way. As a result, he has often been requested to present his assessments in “plain English” to a variety of different groups in Australia and overseas.

The following is a brief overview of the programs and activities that will be implemented to achieve The Norwood Resource’s objectives in this subject area.

Generate a series of articles for publication on the website that provide factual scientific information that will be readily available and free of charge to interested third parties.  There will be two categories of articles:

1. Factual information on very specific topics like:

  • the sound levels of breaching whales compared to seismic pulses;
  • the sounds made by colliding/calving/cracking icebergs compared to seismic pulses; and
  • sound intensities recorded in the vicinity of seismic surveys.

2. Critical reviews of misleading articles written by third parties in order to present the scientific facts. We note that some organisations do not upload comments that are contradictory to their “cause”.  Thus, The Norwood Resource website is being set up as a service to ensure that factual scientific information is available to the public.  In keeping with our mission of being open and transparent, all third party comments on our articles will be automatically loaded onto our website and only removed if they are offensive.

Examples of some relevant articles are now available on our website.  The plan is to ensure the site will be “evergreen” on this topic, with new articles to be published regularly and extensive discussion welcomed.

  1. Public presentations to community groups (schools, universities, environmental organisations, industry groups) on particular topics.
  2. Publication (or provision) of already available resource materials to educational groups.
  3. Collation and compilation of open access observations of marine life made during seismic surveys.  These observations are submitted to the regulator/s in Australia for every seismic survey however, (unlike some other jurisdictions, such as the UK) they have not been collated and analysed.

Very valuable information could be extracted from these data sets, such as species present in a particular area, frequency of encountering different species, and distances different species were sighted from the seismic vessel when the source was operating or not operating.

Dependent on the success of The Norwood Resource in gaining funding (and it is assumed we will be more successful if DGR status is granted) we plan to:

  1. sponsor students and work experience students to conduct some of this collation and compilation work (under the mentorship of our expert in this area); and, if funds are sufficient,
  2. assist in funding post-graduate research at an appropriate university (for example, Curtin University Centre for Marine Science and Technology) to analyse the many marine acoustic data sets that have been recorded in Australian waters before, during and after seismic surveys that have not been fully analysed and published.

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