• 14 hours Shell Oil Trading Head Steps Down After 29 Years
  • 18 hours Higher Oil Prices Reduce North American Oil Bankruptcies
  • 20 hours Statoil To Boost Exploration Drilling Offshore Norway In 2018
  • 21 hours $1.6 Billion Canadian-US Hydropower Project Approved
  • 23 hours Venezuela Officially In Default
  • 1 day Iran Prepares To Export LNG To Boost Trade Relations
  • 1 day Keystone Pipeline Leaks 5,000 Barrels Into Farmland
  • 1 day Saudi Oil Minister: Markets Will Not Rebalance By March
  • 2 days Obscure Dutch Firm Wins Venezuelan Oil Block As Debt Tensions Mount
  • 2 days Rosneft Announces Completion Of World’s Longest Well
  • 2 days Ecuador Won’t Ask Exemption From OPEC Oil Production Cuts
  • 2 days Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Proposes To Ditch Oil Stocks
  • 2 days Ecuador Seeks To Clear Schlumberger Debt By End-November
  • 2 days Santos Admits It Rejected $7.2B Takeover Bid
  • 2 days U.S. Senate Panel Votes To Open Alaskan Refuge To Drilling
  • 3 days Africa’s Richest Woman Fired From Sonangol
  • 3 days Oil And Gas M&A Deal Appetite Highest Since 2013
  • 3 days Russian Hackers Target British Energy Industry
  • 3 days Venezuela Signs $3.15B Debt Restructuring Deal With Russia
  • 3 days DOJ: Protestors Interfering With Pipeline Construction Will Be Prosecuted
  • 3 days Lower Oil Prices Benefit European Refiners
  • 3 days World’s Biggest Private Equity Firm Raises $1 Billion To Invest In Oil
  • 4 days Oil Prices Tank After API Reports Strong Build In Crude Inventories
  • 4 days Iraq Oil Revenue Not Enough For Sustainable Development
  • 4 days Sudan In Talks With Foreign Oil Firms To Boost Crude Production
  • 4 days Shell: Four Oil Platforms Shut In Gulf Of Mexico After Fire
  • 4 days OPEC To Recruit New Members To Fight Market Imbalance
  • 4 days Green Groups Want Norway’s Arctic Oil Drilling Licenses Canceled
  • 4 days Venezuelan Oil Output Drops To Lowest In 28 Years
  • 5 days Shale Production Rises By 80,000 BPD In Latest EIA Forecasts
  • 5 days GE Considers Selling Baker Hughes Assets
  • 5 days Eni To Address Barents Sea Regulatory Breaches By Dec 11
  • 5 days Saudi Aramco To Invest $300 Billion In Upstream Projects
  • 5 days Aramco To List Shares In Hong Kong ‘For Sure’
  • 5 days BP CEO Sees Venezuela As Oil’s Wildcard
  • 5 days Iran Denies Involvement In Bahrain Oil Pipeline Blast
  • 8 days The Oil Rig Drilling 10 Miles Under The Sea
  • 8 days Baghdad Agrees To Ship Kirkuk Oil To Iran
  • 8 days Another Group Joins Niger Delta Avengers’ Ceasefire Boycott
  • 8 days Italy Looks To Phase Out Coal-Fired Electricity By 2025
Alt Text

The Surprise Winners Of The Oil Price Rally

The recent rally in oil…

Alt Text

The Undisputed Leader Of Tomorrow’s Oil & Gas Markets

According to the Executive Director…

Alt Text

Oil Tycoon Hamm Slams EIA’s Overoptimistic Shale Forecasts

Shale billionaire and chief executive…

Environmental News Network

Environmental News Network

The Environmental News Network (ENN) is one of the oldest, and most unbiased sources of online environmental news on the web. ENN has consistently earned…

More Info

Oil Platform’s Effect on Fish Populations

Oil Platform’s Effect on Fish Populations

Fishes residing near oil platforms in southern California have similar contaminant levels as fishes in nearby natural sites, according to two recent reports by the U.S. Geological Survey, which were conducted to assist the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in understanding potential consequences of offshore energy development. Since the underwater portion of many offshore oil and gas platforms often provides a habitat to a large number of fishes and invertebrates, some stakeholders have called for ocean managers to consider a "rigs-to-reefs" option during the decommissioning phase of a platform. This option would maintain some of the submerged structure to function as an artificial reef after oil and gas production has ended. The findings of this study address questions regarding how the industrial legacy of this kind of artificial reef may affect local fish populations.

In the United States, Marine Biologist Milton Love has proposed that oil platforms off the California coast be retained as artificial reefs, instead of being dismantled, because he has found them to be havens for many of the species of fish which are otherwise declining in the region.    NOAA has said it is considering this course of action.

Rigs-to-Reefs was first explored in 1979 when the first oil rig was transported from Louisiana to a Florida site. This rig was the first of 5 Rigs-to-Reefs towed to Florida's coast. Louisiana was the first state to develop a program that allowed transfer of liability and ownership from the operator to the state. Texas later followed this example. Rigs-to-Reef is now the core of both Louisiana and Texas artificial reef programs. From 1987-1995, of the over 941 platforms removed from Louisiana and Texas waters, 90 became artificial reefs. By November 2000, 151 platforms had been recycled as artificial reefs in the Gulf of Mexico from states such as Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Federal law now requires rigs to be demolished for safety reasons, although discussion continues about their potential.

Related article: Creating Artificial Reefs from Old Oil Rigs

Scientists analyzed the amount of contaminants from crude oil exposure present in three species of fish residing at oil platforms within the Santa Barbara Channel and the San Pedro Basin in California.  The amount of contaminants present in fish tissue samples at seven platform sites was compared to samples at natural nearby sites.

"As part of this study, we developed methods capable of detecting the extremely low levels of contaminants that we anticipated in these ocean fishes, especially since they avoid natural oil seeps," said USGS scientist Robert Gale. "These results will assist decision-makers in helping to protect the environment off the coast of California."

Some of the most important contaminants related to oil operations are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Several PAHs are probable human carcinogens and many are toxic to fish and other aquatic life. Scientists were able to develop a new, more accurate method of sampling small traces of PAHs that may have been ingested and broken down within the fish. Samples were taken from species thought to be most sensitive to PAH contamination. These species, including Pacific sanddab, kelp rockfish, and kelp bass, also tend to be targeted by fishermen. PAH concentrations were either very low or undetectable in all fish sampled for this study.

Related article: Lukoil Take a Pass on Arctic Energy Resources

"These important results suggest two things," said BOEM marine biologist Donna Schroeder. "First, existing offshore oil platforms provide food and shelter to local fishes without increasing their background contaminant loads. Second, since there is no detectable PAH signal from ongoing operations, we would expect that if the State of California wanted to implement a rigs-to-reefs program, there would likely be no change, pollution-wise, in the quality of the offshore environment, which appears to be pretty good."

Scientists also looked at industrial chemicals in the Pacific sanddab species, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), flame retardants (polybrominated diphenylethers, PBDEs), and pesticides (OCPs). These contaminants were also found at low levels in all fish sampled, with no observed pattern between natural and platform habitats.

By. Andy Soos




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News