Shell's Cougar Platform Becomes Artificial Reef
Shell announced Thursday that its Cougar platform in the Gulf of Mexico has become an artificial reef, after safely producing more than 31 million barrels of oil equivalent over a span of nearly two decades.
The company donated the steel frame supporting Cougar’s deck and topside to the State of Louisiana’s Artificial Reef program and made a $619,000 contribution to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Department to help maintain and monitor the reef.
A specially designed vessel was contracted to lift and move the nearly 350 foot tall, 3000 ton, jacket to the Ship Shoal 320 block off the coast of LA, where it currently provides a habitat for a variety of marine life, including red snapper, amberjack, and many other reef-dependent fish.
“Cougar marks the end on an era for Shell because this is one of our last fixed leg platforms in the Gulf,” Tommy Giddings, who served as Shell’s operations manager for Cougar in 1990 and now supports the Cougar decommission project, said in a statement on Shell’s website.
“I’m proud to be part of the Shell team entrusted with restoring the Cougar site and using the platform’s jacket to create an artificial reef that will give divers and fisherman joy for years to come,” he added.
Shell installed the Cougar fixed-leg platform in the South Timbalier 300 Block in 1981. Cougar was one of the first platforms in the Gulf of Mexico to feature an onsite computer system able to perform real-time monitoring of producing wells.
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