What Consents Required for Geological and Seismic Surveys


Consent to Survey required for: Seismic survey; high resolution seismic site survey; borehole seismic; shallow drilling; and gravity/magnetic survey.

Notification of Survey only required for new pipeline or cable route survey, seabed survey not around existing installation or pipeline; and all surveys near to or near a “relevant site” under the Regulations

No Action required for inspection, repair and maintenance survey; surveys of existing pipelines or installations; pre/post lay survey environmental survey.


What Consents Required for Geological and Seismic Surveys

Sensitive Area*


Other Offshore Areas

Action Needed

6+ months

Identify if any conditions on seismic survey detailed in licence conditions.
*Identify if survey being undertaken in area sensitive to cetaceans and/or in or near a site designated under the Habitats Directive (relevant site). Early discussions with JNCC/DESNZ are suggested. An EIA may be needed as well as additional environmental information for a Habitats Regulatory Assessment of “relevant sites”.
Identify if any important fishing grounds in survey area.
If necessary undertake EIA and prepare environmental statement (ES).
Identify window for survey to minimise environmental impacts.

2 months

If applicable, prepare Standalone permit submission

3 months

1 month

If applicable, submit Standalone Survey Consent to Survey application for consent to DESNZ

1 month

1 month

If applicable, submit  Notification of Survey




Key Compliance During Seismic Survey

At least 30 minutes before commencement of operation, make visual check for presence of marine mammals within 500 m of vessel. Hydrophones may also be used particularly in poor visibility.

If marine mammals are present, the start of the survey should be delayed until they have moved away. Allow at least 20 minutes from the last sighting before commencing operations.

Where equipment allows, build power up slowly from a low energy start allowing 20 minutes for marine mammals to move well out of range. Where seals are congregated around a platform, start survey at least 500 m away.

Use lowest practicable power levels throughout survey.