Decommissioning Environmental Studies Workshop Proceedings (2003)


The Pacific Outer Continental Shelf held a workshop entitled "Decommissioning Offshore Platforms and Pipelines: Environmental Studies Workshop" October 27 - 29, 2003 at the University of Southern California Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island, California. The objectives of the workshop were to:

  • Identify information needs and scientific data gaps involved with potential environmental impacts of total removal
  • Identify, rank, and recommend environmental studies, on a general regional and, site-specific basis, that would support Pacific Region decisions on decommissioning proposals
  • Identify leveraging and partnering opportunities for funding environmental studies

This workshop was attended by Federal, state, and local agency and non-governmental organization experts; academia; consultants; and industry representatives who would likely be involved in future offshore and onshore oil and gas facility decommissioning projects.

Three working groups were identified for the workshop:

  • Platform Associated Biota and Fishing - Co-Leaders: Dr. Ann Bull (BOEM, Camarillo), Dr. Craig Fusaro (Joint Oil Fisheries Liaison Office, Santa Barbara), and Marty Golden (NOAA Fisheries, Long Beach); Sessions facilitated by Dr. Brock Bernstein
  • Disposition - Onshore Dismantlement, Disposal, and Recycling - Co-Leaders: John Smith (BOEM, Camarillo) and Luis Perez (Santa Barbara County Energy Division, Santa Barbara); Sessions facilitated by Paul De Morgan, RESOLVE, Portland, Oregon.
  • Protected Species - Marine Mammals, Birds, and Turtles - Leader: Dr. Mark Pierson (BOEM, Camarillo); Sessions facilitated by Jeff Citrin, RESOLVE, Washington, D.C.

A summary of the workshop, agenda and attendees are available through the links at the top of this page. The Proceedings of the Workshop is on CD and it is available.  Call 1-800-672-2627 to leave your ordering information, and a CD will be mailed to you. The chapters consist of presentations made at the workshop and summaries.  Chapter 4, Recommendations, begins with a summary and is followed by the presentations made by each of the Co-Leaders to the Plenary Session. The recommendations are based on the discussions and rankings within each working group. A glossary of terms and list of abbreviations, extracted from the 1997 Bureau/State Lands Commission Decommissioning Workshop, is provided in the Appendix, to assist the reader.


The Pacific OCS Region is a mature offshore oil and gas production area with many producing leases that are approaching the end of operations over the next several years. There are no pending decommissioning proposals in the Region, nor have any Federal platforms in the Region been decommissioned to date. However, early planning for decommissioning is necessary to carry out these projects in California as a long lead time is required for the permitting process and to procure associated equipment and services. Among the steps in planning future decommissioning, is the need to consider the regulatory and legal framework under which decommissioning will occur. In addition, information needed by both oil and gas facility owners and operators and the various state and Federal agencies that are responsible for overseeing decommissioning must be identified and planned so that it can be obtained in advance of decision making.

The workshop was planned in coordination with the Interagency Decommissioning Working Group (IDWG). The IDWG includes staff from the California Department of Fish & Game, California State Lands Commission, County of Santa Barbara – Energy Division, County of Ventura – Planning Division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – Fisheries, California Coastal Commission, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and BOEM. The IDWG was formed in 1997 to serve as a forum for discussion of offshore and onshore decommissioning issues for state, Federal, and local agencies.