Greenhouse gas emissions from decommissioning manmade structures in the marine environment: current trends and implications for the future

Abigail Davies* (Corresponding Author), Astley Hastings

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The decommissioning of manmade structures in the marine environment causes large volumes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to be released. Current GHG emissions calculation methods for decommissioning offshore oil and gas industry infrastructure leave large sources of GHG emissions unaccounted for. The results presented here show that these consequential decommissioning GHG emissions are underreported by 50%. Until now, no study has looked at the cumulative impact of decommissioning, but this study shows that globally offshore oil and gas infrastructure decommissioning has produced 25 MtCO2e to date, around 0.5% of annual global GHG emissions. Importantly, this study also shows that due to the growth of the offshore wind industry, increasing numbers of manmade structures will be emplaced in the marine environment, and GHG emissions from decommissioning will increase 200-fold to 5 GtCO2e by 2067. Crucially, this growth of GHG emissions is not compatible with the Paris Agreement, and new decommissioning methods will be required to meet this challenge.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1133
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding
This research is funded by NZTC and the University of Aberdeen through their partnership with the UK National Decommissioning Centre. This work contributed to the NERC-funded FAB-GGR project and UKERC-4 projects.

Data Availability Statement

The authors confirm that the data supporting the findings of this study are available within the article

Keywords

  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • decommissioning
  • offshore energy industry
  • oil and gas
  • renewables

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