Professor Peter Macreadie
Scoping Study: Horizon scan of key questions in the decommissioning of offshore oil and gas infrastructure
A number of Australia’s oil and gas infrastructure will reach the age of decommissioning in the next 10 years. This raises complex issues on whether to remove these structures from the seafloor or leave them in-situ. On one hand they have some of the highest recorded biodiversity but could also bring long term issues with biosecurity and potential hazards for our marine environment. This project will consider and priorities our most urgent research needs.
This project will address the growing global issue regarding the decommissioning of end of-life offshore oil and gas (O&G) infrastructure with the aims of building the scientific evidence to support the decisions to either remove structures for onshore disposal (full removal is the default regulatory position in Australia under the OPGGS Act 2006) or leave them in the ocean for re-use as artificial reefs or other purposes (which would require a sea dumping permit under the Environmental Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981). The project will outline the top pending science questions regarding the decommissioning of offshore O&G infrastructure and will provide a comprehensive road map for the coming decade on research priorities for this topic.