Decommissioning of offshore oil and gas platforms raises many complex issues to consider before accomplishing a successful strategy to undertake these activities in an environmentally effective, efficient and equitably safe manner not only for the operators and the regulatory authorities but for the physical and biological surroundings. There are many factors to evaluate and issues like liability, reputational risk, cost, cumulative impact, technical development, regulatory framework, and climate change would all have to be considered on a case-to-case scenario as opposed to adopting a regular strategy for all facilities. The debate is focused about whether the structure or facilities left in place or like an artifical reef habitat constitute valuable habitat and deliver ecosystem services, or in contrast impact the biological environment and should be removed. Some offshore facilities, although deployed as artifical reefs for a very long time, have not developed the diversity of benthic or fish assemblages comparable to that found on natural reefs. South East Asia hosts many aging offshore facilities and the shortage of decomissioning yards and a lack of policy framework and financial support play a big role in order to conduct these activities in a way that safeguard the environment and the biodiversity of the marine environment.
Jagerroos, S., & R Krause, P. (2016). Rigs-To-Reef; Impact or Enhancement on Marine Biodiversity. Journal of Ecosystem & Ecography, 6(2). https://doi.org/10.4172/2157-7625.1000187