Utilizing Retired GoM Platforms to Achieve ESG Goals

Research shows abandoned offshore oil platforms can be repurposed for a multitude of purposes including carbon capture and storage.

Kent Satterlee III, Gulf Offshore Research Institute
Gulf of mexico_Shutterstock

After surrendering their oil and natural gas contents, undersea production zones have room for large caches of carbon capture and storage. This technology is one of the things being studied by the Gulf Offshore Research Institute. (Source: Shutterstock.com)

In the heyday of Gulf of Mexico (GoM) oil and gas production, as many as 4,000 platforms speared its warm waters and silty bottoms, pumping hundreds of millions of barrels of black gold to coastal refineries. Today, less than half of those platforms—approximately 1,600—remain standing. Each year, about 175 more are hauled to scrapyards.  A small amount of these are reefed.

Over the decades that these structures housed people and gargantuan machinery on the surface, a strange thing happened below the waterline. Marine life—plant and animal—congregated and multiplied in the safety and stability of these massive structures. Many types of corals, red snapper, sea turtles and many other species found homes there.

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