Fish farming offers second life for unwanted oil rigs
NORWEGIAN offshore services company Roxel has come up with a plan to convert drilling platforms into ocean farms – and then back again if demand for oil and gas exploration picks up, reported the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
‘There are many rigs that aren’t being used,’ said Roxel’s managing director, Dag Meling. ‘The beauty of our system is that it doesn’t destroy the asset.’
The conversions will include the removal of the derrick from the rig, replacing it with a fish processing module that will be built on land. Such a modular system makes it easy to reverse the conversions, said Meling.
The company aims to farm North Atlantic salmon and trout off the coast of Norway by converting jack-up rigs, which can be towed between locations where they are fixed to the seabed.
These rigs are more stable than floating platforms, hence bet- ter suited to aquaculture, said Meling.
The rigs will be used to store feed for the farmed fish. The feed will be pumped into the fish ponds from where fish will be lifted onto the rig for counting, washing and delousing.
By going offshore it will be possible to build fish farms that produce 10,00015,000 tonnes per year, said Meling.
Fewer and fewer oil rigs are being used, The North Sea alone has more than 550 platforms, which will be decommissioned in the next 30 years.
Above: Oil rigs could be converted into fish farms