Completed and released in June 2010, the Oil and Gas Platform Decommissioning Study represents OST's first steps into coordinating scientific and technical reports.
California's Oil and Gas Platforms
At present, there are 27 oil and gas platforms off the California coast that will reach the end of their productive lives over the next two decades. The existing leases require that the platforms be dismantled and removed by the oil companies that own them. However, past decommissioning experience and research have demonstrated that full removal is a complicated and challenging process with a host of potential environmental impacts.
About the Study
Drawing on such venerable models as the National Academies, OST managed the production of an authoritative review of all existing scientific, financial, and legal information on various options for platform decommissioning. The final report, entitled "Evaluating Alternatives for Decommissioning California's Offshore Oil and Gas Platforms: A Technical Analysis to Inform State Policy," is an objective reference that allows state officials to weigh for themselves the myriad of tradeoffs associated with decommissioning alternatives. The study also includes PLATFORM, an interactive tool for managers and the public to investigate the costs and implications of specific decommissioning projects.
Informing the State Debate
Upon its release, the study was featured during a two-day OPC Meeting held in Santa Barbara (June 24-25, 2010). OST worked alongside the OPC to coordinate a two-part panel on (1) the findings of the report, and (2) stakeholder perspectives on platform decommissioning.
The study was subsequently used to inform AB 2503, state legislation sponsored by Speaker John A. Pérez, on platform decommissioning and converting decommissioned platforms to artificial reefs. AB 2503 was passed by the legislature, and signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger in late September 2010.
Finally, in January 2012 OST provided upon the request of staff in the state legislature a memo summarizing the study’s findings with respect to greenhouse gas emissions, including the implications and limitations, and avenues of further inquiry and analysis.
For details about the independent process that OST designed and implemented to create the report: Oil and Gas Platform Decommissioning Study Process. For Frequently Asked Questions about this report and study: Frequently Asked Questions.
- To download the Memorandum announcing the release of the report, please use the following link: Decommissioning Report Release Memo
- Oil and Gas Platform Decommissioning Report (with hyperlinked appendices)
- Full Oil and Gas Platform Decommissioning Report (with appendices)
- Executive Summary for Oil and Gas Platform Decommissioning Report
- Clarification Regarding Transfer of Ownership to the Federal Reefing Program
For the Report and Related Material:
- Download free Analytica 4.2 Player
- Download the PLATFORM model (Right click and choose option "save as." The file will save to your computer and you can open using Analytica 4.2.)
- Read PLATFORM User Guide
To download, use, and learn more about the PLATFORM model:
To learn more about the multi-attribute decision analysis used in PLATFORM, please read Appendix 5 of the final report.
- Pietri, D., McAfee, S., Mace, A., Knight, E., Rogers, L., and Chornesky, L. 2011. Using Science to Inform Controversial Issues: A Case Study from the California Ocean Science Trust. Coastal Management, Vol 39, Issue 3: 296-316.
For our recent publication on coordinating this study:
For further details contact Emily Knight, Program Manager