Operations to abandon the platforms began in 2001. Operations were suspended in December 2001 as discussions with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department ("TPWD") were initiated. In January 2003, Blue Dolphin and TPWD reached an agreement whereby Blue Dolphin would convert the Buccaneer Field platforms into artificial reefs and donate them to the TPWD. The two reef sites created were from Blue Dolphin's north platforms located in Galveston Block 288 and south platforms located in Galveston Block 296. Originally installed in the mid 1960s, the Buccaneer Field platforms have long been known for their habitat value to marine life and excellent fishing. Blue Dolphin is pleased to be able to preserve the habitat surrounding these platform sites. To convert the platforms to reefs, the platform decks and associated equipment were removed for salvage and the platform jackets were cut to 50 feet below water level and laid on the sea floor. Each reef site encompasses 40 acres of Gulf bottom and is marked with a lighted buoy. "We are pleased to accept these two structures into our program," said Paul Hammerschmidt, Director of the Texas Artificial Reef Program. "They will greatly contribute to our goals to enhance the marine habitat and increase fishing opportunities for Texas citizens. We are grateful to Blue Dolphin Energy Company in helping us make this a reality."
When Blue Dolphin acquired the Buccaneer Field in 1985, in addition to the four platforms reefed, there were seven satellite platforms, which Blue Dolphin previously removed (six of these satellite platforms were moved to an artificial reef site at another location and contributed to the TPWD rigs to reef program), and twenty-three wells, which Blue Dolphin previously plugged and abandoned.
Most Popular Articles