We offer a range of tools and capabilities for the decommissioning of offshore oil and gas infrastructure to deliver industry and environmental benefits.
Is spent oil and gas infrastructure a liability or opportunity?
In the waters around Australia there are dozens of oil and gas platforms and an estimated 3,500 kilometres of pipeline that are coming to the end of their lifespan.
There are a range of decommissioning options under consideration, with sound decision-making required to manage environmental liability.
At some sites, structures may be best left in place. At others, there is potential for removal, relocation, or repurposing – for renewables, carbon capture and storage, or even aquaculture.
Each option brings a different set of risks that need to be assessed.
Environmental and cost-effective solutions
We are helping to identify methods of decommissioning oil and gas infrastructure that minimise risk to the environment and lower cost to industry, while simultaneously maximising opportunities for productive use.
Complete removal of offshore infrastructure is not always the only and best option for the environment. When an engineered structure has been part of the marine environment for an extended length of time, it has almost certainly become home to a diverse range of marine life.
Assessing how important these habitats are, and mapping out the ecosystems that exist within them, will be a vitally important piece of work that needs to be undertaken before decommissioning can begin.
As oil and gas is extracted from beneath the ocean floor, contaminants become concentrated in the pipeline. The risk of those contaminants escaping into the wider environment varies depending on whether infrastructure is removed, repurposed, or relocated. We can deliver trusted advice on contaminants to minimise any risk to the wider environment.
Science to support new offshore opportunities
Industry partners can utilise our capabilities to survey, assess and model the importance of offshore infrastructure and their contribution to biodiversity.
We can investigate how equipment might support (or deter) species of particular conservation value, or how they might contribute to fisheries productivity. Our expertise in contaminants can also address the risk of disturbing sediment as old rigs are moved, or if the sites are opened up for other uses such as fishing.
In addition to assessing risk, we can realise offshore opportunities through the repurposing of infrastructure. This includes how best to build an offshore blue economy through integrated renewable energy generation and offshore aquaculture; and exploring the feasibility of artificial reefs to support biodiversity and fishing,
Our work can apply to large-scale transformation and will inform the future of decommissioning Australia’s oil and gas infrastructure.