Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Rigs to reef or rigs to rubbish?

What does the Santa Barbara Channel have in common with the North Sea? Very, very little - except for the presence of oil and the accompanying oil rigs. Inevitably some of those oil rigs need to be decommissioned and oil companies can save hundreds of millions of dollars by sinking the rigs as reefs, or by removing only the top and leaving the support structure as a reef, rather than dismantling them piece by piece.

This process has been successfully carried out in gulf states like, Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi for example but has been more controversial in California and in the North Sea. One of the issues under debate is the quality of the habitat that is created and for how many species the artificial reef is a good habitat.

If you google 'Rigs to Reefs' you will find a lot of information. I thought this article from a Scuba Diving website was quite well balanced and there's an article from the Daily Nexus in 2001.

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