Decommissioning of subsea structures.
The removal of thousands of obsolete oil and gas platforms from our oceans has already begun, yet the environmental impacts of this decommissioning policy are largely unknown. In recent years a growing number of scientists are pleading for more serious consideration of alternative decommissioning options such as partial removal and reefing. Such options could simultaneously reduce negative environmental impacts and decommissioning costs.
While little is still known about the impacts of actual mining activities, it is clear that they will affect all deep-sea communities. Effective environmental management plans, including mitigation actions to potentially minimise impacts and avoid exceeding tipping points as well as restoration actions to aid in the ecosystem’s recovery, are needed. In this talk, mitigation and restoration actions that could play a role in preserving both biodiversity and functioning ecosystems are discussed.