Restoration of Offshore Sites
Almost 100 offshore platforms are taken out of service each year. For smaller structures in shallow waters, companies dismantle the platform, which is then brought to shore for refurbishment or reuse.
In water deeper than 100 feet, and at more remote locations, a rigs-to-reefs approach can be used.
In this approach, all waste materials and useful equipment are removed from the production platform. The platform is then toppled on site or cut and moved to a new site and allowed to come to rest on the sea bottom.
Within a year, the platform will be covered with marine life. The hard surfaces attract invertebrates such as barnacles, corals, sponges and clams. These, in turn, attract resident reef fish like snapper and grouper, and can also provide breeding and rearing habitat for juvenile fish of a number of other species.
A sunken platform can actually attract and support 20-50 times more fish than the ocean's naturally flat, soft bottom.»next