18 June 2012

Endless Possibilities at Sea: 650 Abandoned Oil Rigs in Gulf of Mexico; Over 4,000 Worldwide

A fight is raging over abandoned oil platform High Island 389-A, pictured below. Obama's Interior Department, led by Ken Salazar, wants to dynamite the structure, killing thousands of fish in the process, and damaging delicate seafloor ecologies -- including coral reefs. But there may be more economical and ecologically sound ways of dealing with abandoned oil platforms.
Now, 30 years after it was built and months after it was abandoned, it is set to be demolished under Interior Department rules governing nonproducing ocean structures. And when it goes, the lush ecosystem that has grown around it will also vanish. There are now about 650 such oil and gas industry relics, known as idle iron, that may meet this fate.

The federal government estimates that the blasts needed to remove one platform kill 800 fish, although others who have observed the process put the number in the thousands. Much of the marine life on or around the structure dies, either from the explosions to separate the platform from its supports or when it is toppled or towed to shore and recycled as scrap metal. _NYT

Texas governor Rick Perry is one of the people trying to stop the Obama-Salazar wanton destruction of ecosystems and fish life. Years ago, President George W. Bush tried to put an end to the bureaucratic rules which make it possible for government to intrude so destructively in offshore waters, proposing to allow abandoned platforms to be used by offshore fish farms.
Oil Rig Conversions

There have been many proposals for ways in which to convert abandoned offshore platforms and rigs to more economic and ecologically sound uses. Here is a rather ambitious and stylish proposal for creating a mini-city from an abandoned offshore rig.

One offshore sea platform originally used as a sea fort, was even declared an independent country -- the Principality of Sealand. But there are many other potential uses for the structures, including as resorts, hotels, diving sites, aquaculture farms, zen monasteries, and more.

Ken Salazar is likely to want to wipe away all traces of oil & gas activity from all US offshore waters. He has done his best to retard and obstruct such activity in the Gulf of Mexico under President Obama's watch. The Obama - Salazar policies toward the Gulf of Mexico waters have harmed the economies of local states far worse than any combination of oil spills could have done. And these policies continue to hurt Gulf economies. Too bad such self-important bureaucrats cannot learn to be more open-minded in their dotage.

Worldwide, there are thousands of abandoned offshore structures, with more likely to become available every year. More recent versions of offshore platforms can even be moved from one location to another. In fact, the Seasteading Institute's main design for an early seastead is derived from the same floating architecture as state of the art floating oil rigs.

Keep an eye on this legal battle over the status of High Island 389-A. It may set a precedent for future policy on abandoned offshore platforms and rigs.

Oil Rig Photos

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Blogger Matt M said...

Can't this idiot be stopped by sueing under the Endangered Species Act?

Destroying all this prime habitat in the Gulf is bound to be endangering dozens of species.

Tuesday, 19 June, 2012  
Blogger al fin said...

You could be right, except no one can possibly do a thorough species inventory of every possible ecological niche of every ecosystem and micro-ecosystem in the GOM.

I have always been amazed at how well animal life can adapt to man-made structures, both on land and under the sea.

Before rushing to destroy all these structures according to bureaucratic rules, they need to offer them to responsible individuals or groups who are willing to improve the sites and keep them up, in terms of maintenance and safety to wildlife and navigation. Economically productive enterprises that also protect existing wildlife should be given a chance to prove themselves.

Tuesday, 19 June, 2012  
Blogger Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...

On the East coast, old subway cars have been dumped into the oceans. Some enviro-idiot groups sued to stop it. After a court challenge, the subway car artificial reef program continued.

I have seen photos and videos taken by divers. Those cars are full of corals and fish now.

Tuesday, 19 June, 2012  

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