Intertek Energy & Water has been appointed by the UK’s Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) to undertake a study of potential impacts on mobile sandbanks associated with rock dumping during the decommissioning of oil and gas infrastructure.
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 reefs, Intertek explained.
The 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.
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.”
Karen Hall, head of Offshore Industries Advice at JNCC added: “JNCC are pleased to select Intertek to complete this important study and we look forward to working with them on this project.”