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‘The world must rethink plans for ageing oil and gas platforms’

11 March 2024

PML scientists have been published in a comment article, where they stress the need for ‘a review of decommissioning strategies [...] to ensure that governments make scientifically motivated decisions about the fate of oil rigs in their regions, rather than sleepwalking into default strategies that could harm the environment.’ 

PML’s Professor Matt Frost and our late Professor Paul Somerfield had their comment piece published this week, alongside colleagues Anthony Knights, Associate Professor in marine sustainability at University College Cork, and Anaëlle Lemasson, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Plymouth. 

‘Many of the world’s 12,000 offshore oil and gas platforms are nearing the end of their lives.  

One of world’s largest oil platforms, the North Sea’s Gullfaks C, sits on immense foundations, constructed from 246,000 cubic metres of reinforced concrete, penetrating 22 metres into the sea bed and smothering about 16,000 square metres of sea floor. The platform’s installation in 1989 was a feat of engineering. Now, Gullfaks C has exceeded its expected 30-year lifespan and is due to be decommissioned in 2036. How can this gargantuan structure, and others like it, be taken out of action in a safe, cost-effective and environmentally beneficial way? Solutions are urgently needed.’ 

Read the full article here >>