Biodiversity from Old Oil Rigs

Biodiversity_fish_old oil rig_

There are some things left in the sea that actually add to the environment! Old oil rigs and other artificial installations are typically present for 20-30 years in the sea. Through this period the tubes, bars, concrete bricks and other materials turn into beneficial substrate for adhering plants and animals. This rich environment attracts fish and mammals. “In the North Sea an old oil rig will have the same function as a natural stone reef”, explains Jonas Teilmann, senior researcher from Aarhus University. He also says stone reefs are in short supply as stones have been removed and used for pier construction or spread due to heavy trawling.

The cost to decommission the world’s 7,500 oil and gas rigs, and 20,000 wind turbines at the end of their useful lives will be around £100bn, which has been mandated by international convention. Jonas and 30 other international researchers are making a case to review this, because biodiversity is increasing by leaving them in situ. These structures on the seabed are naturally protected from trawling too, which can turn a seabed into a uniform desert. They are calling politicians and officials to put a halt on mandatory decommissioning, and to carry out case by case environmental assessments as to which structures to leave.

It’s amazing how sometimes nature adapts man made objects over time whilst they return to their original default material state, and on the way help the environment !

Hope you have a good month

All the best


Quotation corner:

“If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.”
Abraham Lincoln
“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs”
Henry Ford

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

About Mike Osborn CEng

A Chartered Engineer and member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers living in the UK with a passion for engineering design, technology and innovation, peppered with a little humour. Presently running a small engineering design & CAD drawing solutions business, serving mainly London and home counties.
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