The standards and rules for decommissioning offshore oil rigs are firmly established in the North Sea. When an oil platform is no longer economically viable, it must be removed. There is to be no dumping and abandoning these structures at sea. Save for substructures heavier than 10, 000 tons, the bottom (so-called ‘footings’) of these structures may be left in place. Why is this significant? The majority of these installations were never designed to be removed and the required decommissioning is of a scale and complexity not yet witnessed before in the world of offshore oil and gas. The imminent decommissioning of over 500 platforms in the next few decades presents a daunting challenge to Europe. How to reverse-engineer the removal of hundreds of steel structures, some of which rival the size of the Eiffel tower and are located in deep and turbulent waters, while maintaining safe and cost effective strategies. Another challenge is that unlike the US, northern Europe’s shared body of water, the North Sea, spans the exclusive economic zone of 7 countries and thus forces an international standard that all must agree on. This ‘international standard’ will become a crucial factor in determining the success or failure of all future decommissioning projects in the North Sea.
I had the opportunity to engage in and discuss these issues when my research partner, Amber Jackson, and I traveled to meet with LINSI (The Living North Sea Initiative) in Amsterdam, and presented at DOSS (a conference on the decommissioning of Offshore Subsea Structures) in Glasgow, Scotland. Hundreds of North Sea platforms face removal, under often dangerous and risky conditions, and coupled with mounting costs of varying uncertainty, means that total compliance under OSPAR (named because of the original Oslo-Paris conventions for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic) may not be the best answer. We encountered these themes over and over again during our time in Europe. OSPAR is the primary mechanism governing the North Sea region, by which fifteen Governments of the western coasts of Europe, together with the European Union, cooperate to protect the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic. The decommissioning of oil and gas assets is primarily governed by the Petroleum Act which implemented OSPAR Decision 98/3. The act requires licensees to pay for offshore installations to be properly decommissioned; in most cases it effectively mandates complete removal from the seabed. In other words, the potential to allow platforms to be relocated or left in place to function as artificial reefs is slim, and in light of historical events that lead to public outcry, such as 1995’s Brent Spar decommissioning and the BP Oil Spill of 2010, unlikely (Jørgensen, Dolly).
So why not develop a Rig to Reef program in the North Sea? As demonstrated in other areas of the world, Rigs to Reefs offers a viable, and perhaps more environmentally and economically feasible option. The water in the North Sea is cold, murky and incredibly nutrient rich, and home to a wide variety of commercially viable marine life. The bottom is littered with one of the highest concentration of wrecked ships in the world, a grim reminder of the violent power of this icy water body. When paired with the vast array of hard substrate provided by the platforms- these nutrient rich waters have fostered an abundance of marine growth similar to what we have found on California’s platforms (Callahan, E.). They may be home to more than over 100 different marine species, including some cold water coral species such as Lophelia pertusa, one of six coral species known to form extensive cold-water reefs, and unlike most warm-water corals, it lacks symbiotic algae and thus does not require light.how many science classes are required to graduate how many science calories are in a strawberry how to know when the product was made how much solution in lateral flow test how startup valuation works what workers compensation which engineering is for me why manager position how company do background check how to device manager whom is he teaching english passive what products to use for curly hair where problem solution what manager has the most wins in mlb history when business writers request information where do workers live in monaco how system in human body what design style is cb2 who technology transfer pdf how much london trip cost from india how many management styles are there how much london broil per person when is start up season 2 who roadmap ventilation wh technologies why device manager can't open how far into the future does a solution roadmap forecast where to design business cards where does it come from solution where to launch kayak weeki wachee how engineering students study who set up a business where to find system services on iphone why product roadmap how many teaching positions are open in nc how many startup companies are there in bangalore how much solution for bissell little green where to find advanced roadmap in jira how far science has come where is stonehenge from london where from infinix company how long teaching certificate which business degree is best how much london eye cost who company owns sixt car rental what engineering should i major in when solutions of kcl and pb no3 2 are mixed where to produce oxygen how much startup money for a small business how long system alcohol where is made in manufactured where to find solutions when device is offline where company registered who teaches luffy haki what's start up an entrepreneur whose business is anchored on technology how much tech trash for c4 how many system in human body how far technology will go how product managers prioritize features where to start startup who london ohio how much science do we know where to learn system design how design live why equipment maintenance is important where's project runway what technology can mennonites use when products are redesigned as postponable products what london broil which development changes are associated with puberty london who started the great fire whose project is tplex which product in the reaction forms a precipitate where do technology come from which teaching jobs are in demand who roadmap 2020 how much startup capital do i need where is manufacturer part number in sap where to design a logo when products cannot be easily differentiated why product marketing how technology has changed education why system architecture is important where to recycle technology where to solve math equations where lauren london from how design a logo what manufacturer makes lexus which product is an example of a capital good how much tech trash per c4 who's and whose examples how many technological universities in ireland where is alice from design star where tech companies are moving who product catalogue who london mayor where is workers' compensation reported on 1040 how much solution for hoover carpet cleaner where to teach english abroad where to launch model rockets how often answers how much project coordinators make where is fk tech from which product is made from a renewable resource how many business days in june 2022 why system architecture is important when product of inertia is zero from where to start teaching english how engineering works who system unit how many system apps should i have why entrepreneurs are bad at relationships how science is unlocking the secrets of addiction when entrepreneurial activities slow down where do the best engineers work why design thinking works