Thailand considers artificial reef program

Thai officials are thinking of turning decommissioned offshore platforms and pipelines into to artificial reefs in the Gulf of Thailand.

By an OGJ correspondent
BANGKOK, June 21 -- Thai officials are thinking of turning decommissioned offshore platforms and pipelines into to artificial reefs in the Gulf of Thailand.

As many as 225 platforms and 1,000 km of pipeline in those waters are due for decommissioning over the next 5 years. Petroleum concessionaires are legally obliged to dismantle and remove such structures, but now Thai authorities are looking at the option of converting some into artificial reefs.

However, a thorough study is needed to see if such a program would improve the marine environment or adversely affect sea currents, resulting in coastal corrosion. Suitable locations for the artificial reefs must be determined.

The Petroleum Institute of Thailand estimated more than 400 additional platforms would be erected in the Gulf of Thailand in the next 5-10 years.

Thailand currently produces a combined 627,500 boe/d from 38 fields, mostly in the gulf.

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