Former Exxon Platform to Become Deepwater Reef
WASHINGTON, D.C. – From the 10/12 Industry Report:
The Gulf of Mexico now boasts the world’s tallest oil and gas platform to become a deepwater reef.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has approved the conversion of ExxonMobil’s Lena Compliant Tower platform, which is 50 feet taller than the Empire State Building, into an artificial reef under the bureau’s Rigs-to-Reefs Program.
In July, the platform jacket was toppled in place to create a new reef site about 50 miles south of Grand Isle. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will own and manage the Lena platform jacket after the site has been surveyed and cleared, most likely in early 2021.
“The Rigs-to-Reefs program is a crucial part of BSEE’s mission,” said BSEE Director Scott Angelle. “It demonstrates how the oil and gas industry and federal and state governments work together to help preserve the marine environment in the Gulf of Mexico.”
BSEE has approved over 500 Rigs-to-Reefs projects in the Gulf since 1987.
BSEE’s Rigs-to-Reefs program was developed by the Minerals Management Service—BSEE’s predecessor agency—after it became official federal policy in the mid-1980s under the National Artificial Reef Plan.
“Rigs to Reefs creates a solution out of a problem and delivers a sustainable win-win for the Gulf ecosystem and the sport fishing economy,” said Congressman Garret Graves. “Turning decommissioned offshore platforms, like the Lena platform, into thriving reef environments is a game changer for the preservation of different species — elevating the fishing industry and the important economic activity that comes with it. The more we build upon the successes of the Rigs-to-Reef program, the longer it keeps Louisiana a top competitor in the energy and fishing industries, both of which power our local economies across South Louisiana.”