(Plat)Forms That Function: The Rigs to Reef program in the Gulf of Mexico

When offshore oil and gas structures become dry or unprofitable they must be removed within one year of the termination of the lease or date the well is determined to be dry or unprofitable. There are two main options for decommissioning rigs attached to the seabed: mechanical severance or explosive severance. The mechanical severance method involves more personnel and requires additional time, but has a less harsh effect on the environment. In comparison, the explosive severance method uses fewer people and takes less time but has more drastic environmental effects. The ratio of the two methods is 35 percent mechanical to 65 percent explosive. One approach to avoid the need for either method is the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement's Rigs to Reefs program, which creates artificial reefs from the idle rigs. The losses of fish, turtles, dolphins, and whales from explosive severances, combined with declining coral reefs worldwide, make a clear case to pursue a Rigs to Reefs conversion whenever possible.


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  • Accession Number: 01677090
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 29 2018 9:44AM