Action: Leave pipelines and infrastructure in place following decommissioning
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects of leaving pipelines and infrastructure in place following decommissioning on subtidal benthic invertebrate populations.
‘We found no studies’ means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this intervention during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore, we have no evidence to indicate whether or not the intervention has any desirable or harmful effects.
Pipelines and infrastructure from offshore industry structures, such as oil and gas, renewable energy, and mining can impact subtidal benthic invertebrates through physical damage and loss of habitat when the infrastructure is constructed, but also when they are removed following decommissioning. Leaving structures in place may involve the least environmental and physical disturbances (Brigitte et al. 2018; Chandler et al. 2017). In addition, it could potentially benefit subtidal benthic invertebrates by providing habitat and shelter (Ponti et al. 2002; see also related interventions: “Habitat restoration and creation – Repurpose obsolete offshore structures to act as artificial reefs”, “Cover subsea cables with artificial reefs”, and “Cover subsea cables with materials that encourage the accumulation of natural sediments”).
Brigitte S., Fowler A.M., Macreadie P.I., Palandro D.A., Aziz A.C. & Booth D.J. (2018) Decommissioning of offshore oil and gas structures–Environmental opportunities and challenges. Science of the Total Environment, 658, 973–981.
Chandler J., White D., Techera E. J., Gourvenec S. & Draper S. (2017) Engineering and legal considerations for decommissioning of offshore oil and gas infrastructure in Australia. Ocean Engineering, 131, 338–347.