Intertek Energy & Water experts have been appointed by the UK’s Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) to undertake a study of potential impacts associated with rock dumping during the decommissioning of oil and gas infrastructure on mobile sandbanks.
The study will focus on the North Sea’s North Norfolk and Saturn Reef Candidate Special Area of Conservation (cSAC) and Site of Community Importance (SCI), which include a series of ten main sandbanks and associated fragmented smaller banks formed as a result of tidal processes as well as biogenic (Sabelaria spinulosa) reefs.
Beth Monkman, Head of Environment at Intertek Energy & Water, said: “Intertek is delighted to conduct this important study for JNCC to assist industry, regulators and Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies in the decision-making process related to impact assessment of offshore decommissioning operations.”
This study will compare typical sediment profiles and characteristics associated with oil and gas rock dumping operations, with those within North Norfolk and Saturn Reef cSAC/ SCI.
It will also assess the potential physical impacts that rock dumping, associated with oil and gas decommissioning, may have on mobile sandbanks and their biological communities, taking into account their size and natural variability.