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Decommissioning Offshore Oil and Gas Platforms: Is the Rigs-To-Reefs Program a More Sustainable Alternative?

Eduardo G. Pereira
Opeyemi Omotuyi
Aaron Koenck
Pedi Obani
Meagan Gopaulsingh
Shaniah Mohammed


One of the most conspicuous global challenges in the 21st century is global warming and climate change, attributable to long-term shifts in global temperatures and weather patterns due to persistent greenhouse gases emissions in the atmosphere. Fossil fuels production had been identified severally as a major culprit in the continous release of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Hence, there have been agitations from various stakeholder groups including international organizations, national governments, civil societies, etc., seeking ways to address these challenges. These agitations have led to the evolution of the global energy transition agenda, whereby the world is making a shift from fossil fuels production and consumption to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources. Such energy transition implies that fossil fuels facilities, including oil and gas facilities, are fast approaching the end of their productive life. The question therefore is, what becomes of these facilities at the end of their productive life? This invariably calls for an increased attention to oil and gas decommissioning. This is because proper and sustainable decommissioning of oil and gas facilities is significant for environmental protection and sustainable development. Hence, this paper evaluates the various options available for oil and gas decommissioning so as to identify their adverse environmental impacts, and other challenges posed by their implementation. The paper further evaluates the emerging rigs-to-reefs program, and proposes this program as a more sustainable decommissioning option for oil and gas platforms.

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eISSN: 2467-8392
print ISSN: 2467-8406