CATEGORIZED | News

Semi mobilization provides lessons on invasive marine species

Posted on 14 May 2009

It brought the realization that this was a much bigger pollution threat than accidental oil spills.

Mr dos Santos said that, with research, came the realization that invasive marine species have become a huge problem, invisible and deadly in their purpose.

“But the nasty effects of this problem are much worse than the problem of oil spills,” he said. “Oil spills might be very visual, but their impact will go away and the marine environment will recover.

“But with invasive species, it’s the other way around. Where they should be tackled, they can’t be seen; when they’re perceived, they’re so big and nasty and they might be there forever.”

Mr dos Santos said the drilling industry in particular has been caught off guard in some specific areas of the world where last-minute changes in rig moves and well programmes have been caused by unforeseen changes to client requirements.

Caulerpa is a tropical seaweed that has wreaked havoc in the Mediterranean and Australia.

He said too that a 2008 article in Drilling Contractor was an eye opener, both to him and probably many others in the drilling business.

Mr dos Santos listed a string of species that were now causing big problems. However, he pointed out that, while rigs had unquestionably contributed, the tendency for units to stay long-term in sectors such as the North Sea or US Gulf of Mexico meant that the impact of mobile offshore drilling units as invasive species vectors was limited compared with merchant ships.

He admitted the decision to closely examine the Noble Farrington before the move from West Africa to the Mediterranean (which is ongoing) had brought many challenges, including assessing the unit to see whether it was carrying potentially invasive species, which it was, though this turned out not to be a significant issue.

However, while the decision was taken not to clean the hull, the rig’s ballast water went through full “ballast water management,” a process that was steered by a strict cost-benefit audit process.

Mr dos Santos said various agencies were also contacted. “They were very helpful in helping us clarify our thoughts, and they were pleased that a drilling contractor had made the effort.

“Lessons have been learned, and possibly some will be added when we do this again in the future. Hopefully the kind of preparations that we carried out will become the norm for rig moves, not just in Noble but the whole of the industry.”

Leave a Reply

*

FEATURED MICROSITES


Recent Drilling News

  • 30 January 2015

    Chevron, BP, ConocoPhillips advancing Paleogene discoveries in deepwater GOM

    Chevron and BP will collaborate with ConocoPhillips to explore and appraise 24 jointly-held offshore leases in the northwest portion of Keathley Canyon...

  • 29 January 2015

    PetroQuip deploys BigFoot toe sleeve in Anadarko Basin

    PetroQuip Energy Services successfully implemented its revolutionary toe sleeve, BigFoot, in a recent horizontal completion for an independent operator...

  • 27 January 2015

    US EIA: Lower 48 oil production outlook stable despite expected rig count reduction

    The sharp decline in oil prices over Q4 2014, which has continued in January, is already having a significant effect on drilling activity in the US, according...

  • 27 January 2015

    Hess announces 2015 capital, exploratory budget

    Hess Corp announced a 2015 capital and exploratory budget of $4.7 billion, a 16% reduction from its 2014 actual spend of $5.6 billion. Of this, $2.1 billion (45%) is budgeted for unconventional shale resources...

  • 26 January 2015

    Young professionals program at SPE/IADC Drilling Conference to target future leaders of the industry

    The oil and gas industry is constantly looking to the future. Whether this comes in the form of pushing the limits of pressure...

  • Read more news