ATP Oil & Gas announced that on September 30, 2009 it donated its Vermilion 318 "A" platform jacket to the Louisiana Artificial Reef Program (Rigs-to-Reefs) for the creation of a new artificial reef in the Gulf of Mexico in South Marsh Island 133. This new reef structure is located in 204 feet of water to provide feeding and living marine habitat for thousands of underwater species. In addition to the donation of the platform jacket structure, ATP donated $415,200 into the Louisiana Artificial Reef Trust Fund to provide for research, development and management of artificial reefs.
Minerals Management Service's (MMS) diving scientists have observed that invertebrates and plants attach to petroleum platforms within weeks of their initial placement in the marine environment. Within a year, the platform can be completely covered with plants and sessile invertebrates, attracting mobile invertebrates and fish species, and forming a highly complex food chain. The openness of a platform structure allows for water circulation and easy mobility for fish inside the structure where it attracts not only bottom dwelling fish, but also mid- to top-water dwellers.
T. Paul Bulmahn, Chairman and CEO of ATP, said, "The Rigs-to-Reef program benefits both the industry and the environment. The industry saves towing and demolition dollars, and a very real beneficiary is the marine life that utilizes the structures for their new homes. This is the first platform that ATP has donated to the Rigs-to-Reef program. For 2009 ATP has been the Premier Sponsor of the National Wildlife Refuge Photography Contest. This latest donation continues to demonstrate our support for our environment." The Louisiana Artificial Reef Program was established in 1986 to take advantage of retired oil and gas platforms which were recognized as providing marine habitat important to many of Louisiana’s coastal fisheries.
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