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