Oil’s Well That Ends Well? Brock Bernstein Talks Rigs-To-Reefs and the Fate of Oil Platforms

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Oil platform, Santa Barbara, California. Credit: Berardo62, CC BY-SA 2.0.

The 27 oil and gas platforms off the southern California coast are aging quickly. What’s next for an oil rig once it reaches the end of its useful life? Deciding the fate of these massive hulks of steel and machinery is no simple feat, and this podcast highlights the efforts by a team of authors that set out to do exactly that.

Podcast available on iTunes and YouTube

Detailed Summary
What’s next for an oil rig once it reaches the end of its useful life? Should it be broken down and the ocean floor restored? Should it be turned into an artificial reef, since it has already been colonized by marine life for decades? The 27 oil and gas platforms off the southern California coast are aging quickly and deciding the fate of these massive hulks of steel and machinery is no simple feat. This issue’s podcast highlights a group of articles whose authors that set out to do exactly that. In the special series “Offshore Platform Decommissioning in California,” Brock Bernstein and his co-authors evaluate the options for the aging platforms in southern California, which include some of the largest and deepest platforms ever built. Access the series in the October 2015 issue of IEAM.

About the Guest
Bernstein_photo_smDr. Brock Bernstein is an environmental scientist specializing in program design and evaluation and policy development in areas such as regional monitoring, stormwater management, ocean resources, and fisheries management. He has conducted external evaluations of large-scale monitoring, research, and management programs at the regional, state, and national level, including, for example, of California’s ocean observing systems and of decommissioning options for California’s offshore oil and gas platforms. He has led projects that included challenging data analysis and modeling components, including mathematical decision models of complex policy tradeoffs. Dr. Bernstein has served on National Academy of Sciences committees that focused on marine monitoring, coastal governance, and data integration for global change research. He received his undergraduate degree in English Literature and his Ph. D. in Biological Oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Articles Referenced in this Podcast
Bernstein, BB. 2015. Evaluating alternatives for decommissioning California’s offshore oil and gas platforms. IEAM 11#4: 537–541.

Further Reading
IEAM Blog Post by Brock Bernstein on a Brighter Environmental Future

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