Explosives Use in Decommissioning—Guide for Assessment of Risk (EDGAR): II Determination of Sound Exposure Levels for Open Water Blasts and Severance of Conductors and Piles from below the Seabed

Alison Brand* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

A simple underwater noise model suitable for use with explosive severance of well conductors and piles during the decommissioning of oil and gas subsea structures is introduced and evaluated against data from five projects in the US. This study focuses on a novel model for the determination of sound exposure levels. The model has been developed to enable determination of impact areas for marine mammals and fish. Simulated received underwater sound exposure levels were significantly correlated with measurements for all scenarios. The maximum total error achieved between simulations and measurements was 2.6%, suggesting that predictions are accurate to within 3% of the average measurement. A low relative bias was observed in the simulations when compared to measured values, suggesting only a small systematic underestimate (≤0.5% of average measurement) for most severance operations and a small overestimate (0.14%) for open water blasts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-554
Number of pages21
JournalModelling
Volume2
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgments: The author is grateful for the feedback from the EDGAR Stakeholder Group: Sarah Canning (JNCC); Julie Cook (BEIS); Ewan Edwards (Marine Scotland Science); Phillip Thomp- son (Thornton Tomasetti) and David Lindsay (SPEX).
Funding: This research received no external funding. This work was supported by a Knowledge Exchange Award from the University of Aberdeen (Grant number RG13483).

Data Availability Statement

Data are available in a publicly accessible repository that does not issue DOIs. Publicly available datasets were analysed in this study. These data can be found here: TAP-025, TAP-118, TAP-429, TAP-570, OCS Study MMS 2003-059, OCS Study MMS 2005-013, OCS Study BOEM 2016-019.

Keywords

  • underwater noise modelling
  • decommissioning
  • explosives
  • sound exposure level
  • marine mammals
  • fish

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