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Environmental impact of decommissioning of oil rigs


For nearly 30 years, offshore oil platforms have been present off the coast of California. During that period of time, marine life has spread extensively on and around the oil platform structures, as if the platforms themselves are a part of the marine environment. The adapting marine life around oil platforms has become a common sight lately for many other oil structures off the coast of Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. As the oil structures live out their remaining years of oil consumption, one of the issues under consideration by the oil companies is whether to remove the structures completely or leave them as they exist so the marine habitat remains undisturbed. Some environmentalists and fishermen comment that keeping the rigs is an excellent idea because of the increasing amounts of thriving populations of marine life surrounding the rigs. However, other environmentalists believe that the entire structures should be removed, citing that the marine life surrounding the oil structures is not a true marine life habitat.

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Q What do you think the oil companies should do with the oil rigs?

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An artificial reef is a man-made, underwater structure, typically built for the purpose of promoting marine life in areas of generally featureless bottom. Concept initially gained popularity in terms of development and growth of marine species around such reef. Environmentalist, however, criticized it due to unnatural growth of ...

Solution Summary

Environmentalist often criticized artificial reefs due to unnatural growth of the marine habitat. Oil rigs / platform are often visualized as artificial rigs. The major potential environmental effects from these platforms occur from the discharge of wastes.