Ecological health of areas near offshore oil platforms evaluated

Posted January 31, 2020

SCCWRP and the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) have completed a two-year study examining the ecological health of the area surrounding offshore oil platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel.

The study, published in October by BOEM, found that the habitats near the channel’s four oldest oil platforms are considered unimpacted by sediment contamination. The study was part of a broader BOEM project evaluating the ecological condition of the continental shelf and slope region of Southern California’s coastal ocean.

The oil platform study marked the first sediment quality assessment of this area since the early 1990s. Most monitoring programs, including the Southern California Bight Regional Monitoring Program, avoid assessing the areas near oil and gas platforms because of their relatively small geographical footprint and their unique contamination challenges.

The study will provide important context for energy resources managers as Southern California’s offshore oil and gas platforms reach the end of their life and are considered for decommissioning.

More news related to: Bioassessment, Sediment Quality