Atlantic drilling off table but survey permits pending


CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — While drilling for oil and natural gas in the Atlantic is off the table for now, permits are still pending that could allow seismic surveys to map just how much might be out there.

Eight companies currently have survey applications before the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Environmental groups are concerned that loud sounds from seismic air guns will hurt marine life. The advocacy group Oceana released maps Tuesday showing areas where permits are being sought and where they overlap crucial marine habitat.

A spokeswoman for the International Association of Geophysical Contractors says the survey companies plan to pursue their permit applications. She says seismic testing is done safely and it makes sense for the nation to take stock of its energy reserves.