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Rigs to reefs


Read on - epaper ⋅ Ausgabe 10/2021 vom 28.09.2021

Artikelbild für den Artikel "Rigs to reefs" aus der Ausgabe 10/2021 von Read on. Dieses epaper sofort kaufen oder online lesen mit der Zeitschriften-Flatrate United Kiosk NEWS.

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Corals grow on an old oil rig off the coast of Borneo.

1 OFFSHORE OIL and gas rigs are eyesores. And the oil and gas extracted from them put carbon dioxide into our environment. One would think that environmentalists would be glad to see those rigs removed and the ocean returned to how it was before. But studies have shown that removing oil rigs can do more harm than good because they are important marine habitats.

2 Many oil rigs will be closeddown over the next years because they don’t extract enough oil and aren’t profitable anymore. Some structures are bigger than the Empire State Building, so removing them is expensive and hard work. Bringing them on land and scrapping them also produces a big carbon footprint. And not all parts can be recycled. On top of all that, removing them completely also means losing the animals and plants that call these structures home.

3 That is why therehas ...

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... been a rigsto-reefgramme in the US since 1984.When oil com- panies d ecommission a rig, they first have to pro-seal the oil well. Then they can move the rig to another area and lay it down on the bottom of the sea or they can topple it in place. They can also just remove the upper part so that ships can pass over it safely. That then leaves the bottom part of the rig to be used as an artificial reef. More than 500 oil and gas rigs have alreadybeen turned into reefs in the US.

4 Artificial reefs provide marine species with food, shelter and a safe breeding ground. Scientists say they are some of the most productive fish habitats in the world. Some artificial reefs even have more species than natural ones. And rig reefs can also help species recover. One example are rockfish: their numbers had gone down because of overfishing, but now they are thriving around oil platforms.

5 In some areas, rigs provide a useful structure. Like in the Gulf of Mexico, which has a soft, sandy ground that makes it hard for natural reefs to form. Artificial reefs there are an important habitat for hundreds of species.

6 Turning rigs into reefs alsohelps the economy. Many artificial reefs have become hotspots for diving, snorkelling and recreational fishing because so many species live there. This can also be good for natural reefs because then fewer people go diving there.

7 One thing that some environmentalists aren’t happy about is that the programme saves oil companies millions of dollars each year. But in the US, oil companies have to give half of the money they save to the state’s artificial reef programme. That money then goes into maintaining artificial reefs as well as marine conservation and education projects.

8 Artificial reefs also attract invasive species, which could harm ecosystems. Scientists warn that precautions need to be taken to prevent this.

9 But with more and more natural reefs disappearing, many scientists support the idea of creating artificial ones. They say that an artificial reef is usually better than no reef at all.

10 Decommissioned oil rigs could have even more functions in the future. They could be used for wave or wind energy, as habitats for seabirds or as marine science centres. One oil rig in Borneo has been turned into an ecotourism resort. 

11 Amber Sparks from Blue Latitudes, an organisation that has taken the US rigs to reef idea to other parts of the world, says of the rigs, “every beam and crossbeam is covered in life”. She believes these programmes protect marine life.

0 – 1 RIG Ölbohrinsel — reef Riff — sustainability“s´ÆsteIn´"bIl´ti‘ Nachhaltigkeit — marine life “m´"ri…n‘ Meereslebewesen — to extract oil/gas Öl/Gas gewinnen — habitat “"hœbItœt‘ Lebensraum — offshore vor der Küste — eyesore Schandfleck — carbon dioxide “ÆkA…b´n daI"ÅksaId‘ Kohlendioxid — environment “In"vaIr´nm´nt‘ Umwelt — environmentalist Umweltschützer(in) — to remove entfernen — to do more harm than good mehr schaden als nützen 2 – 3 profitable “"prÅfIt´b´l‘ gewinnbringend — structure h.:Anlage — to scrap verschrotten — carbon footprint CO 2 -Bilanz — on top of (all) that darüber hinaus — to decommission stilllegen — to seal verschließen — well Quelle — to lay s.th. downetw. hinlegen — to topple (in place) (an Ort und Stelle) umkippen — artificial “ÆA…tI"fIS´l‘ künstlich — to turn s.th. into s.th. etw. in etw. umwandeln 4 – 5 to provide s.th. etw. bieten — species “"spi…Si…z‘ Art(en)— shelter Schutz — breeding ground Brutplatz — scientist “"saI´ntIst‘ Wissenschaftler(in) — to recover sich erholen — rockfish Fisch aus der Familie der Felsenbarsche — overfishing Überfischung — to thrive (prächtig) gedeihen 6 – 7 economy “i"kÅn´mi‘ Wirtschaft — diving Tauchen — snorkelling Schnorcheln — recreational “Ærekri"eIS´n´l‘ Freizeit-— to maintain s.th. etw. erhalten — marine conservation Meeresnaturschutz — education Bildungs-8 – 9 to attract anziehen — invasive species invasive Art —ecosystem Ökosystem — to take precautions “prI"kO…S´nz‘ Vorsichtsmaßnahmen treffen — to prevent verhindern — to disappear verschwinden — to support (an idea) (ein Konzept) befürworten — to create schaffen — no at all gar kein ... 10 – 11 wave or wind energy Wellen-oder Windenergie — marine science Meereskunde — ecotourism Ökotourismus — beam and crossbeam Balken und Querbalken — to be covered in s.th. von etw. bedeckt sein — to protect schützen