Oil rigs and deep-water pipe protection systems protect the environment in more ways than one. Not only do the features and design of protective drill pipe help safeguard the environment, they also help preserve our natural resources. Despite the negative publicity that has surrounded offshore rigs over the years, and despite the simple fact that they aren’t always the most beautiful things to see in the ocean, for marine animals, rigs can provide protection and a stable living environment. Surprisingly, in many of the world’s oceans where deep-water rigs are established, colorful artificial reefs have formed on and around the large piping areas that help support the rigs.
Oil Rigs Provide a Home for Marine Life
Drilling platforms around the world offer fish and other sea animals a place to live, as well as protection from predators. There are ten times more fish living around underwater drill pipe than in natural habitats such as coral reefs. While this may seem counterintuitive to those who see oil drilling platforms as being environmentally unfriendly, the platforms’ shape and size make them a vast and unique marine habitat.
Protection from Predators
Because offshore oil drilling platforms go hundreds of feet down into the ocean, they offer fish and other animals the chance to gather in safety. The rig’s pipe protection features and pillars provide a shield from predators that tend to stay near the surface. Because most marine animals stay near structures that provide protection, a staggering number of endangered species now make their homes around offshore oil platforms.
Advantages That Aren’t Available in Natural Reefs
Because natural rock outcroppings and coral reefs are often eroded and worn, and because they don’t go as deep into the water as oil country tubular goods do, these platforms offer advantages not found in natural habitats. These scientific discoveries could bring changes in the way oil companies handle the decommissioning of gas and oil platforms around the world. Some companies are considering leaving the underwater portions of such platforms intact, which can provide a habitat for threatened populations. However, this idea is meeting stiff opposition from environmental groups that want the structures removed irrespective of the benefits to marine life. These underwater structures serve as a functional reef, and keeping them in place can help the marine environment.
It is fascinating to think of how the oil and gas industry affects marine ecology. While decommissioning of oil rigging continues to be a contentious topic, it is vital to consider all potential consequences of complete dismantling and removal.
MSI Pipe Protection Technologies strives to continue providing leading oilfield products that are of high-quality standards, as well as eco-friendly. To learn more about our products and environmental programs, contact us at 281-890-3535.