Rigs to Visitor Centres

Okay, it's not got quite the same ring to it as "Rigs to reefs", but it solves all the problems and is a win for everyone.

I'm referring to those Californian oil rigs, and indeed all oil rigs which reach the end of their production life. What do you do with them?

Sounds simple. You decommission them. Thing is, in the decades sat on the ocean floor, life moved in. Lots of life. For sea creatures, these massive interlaced metal structures make wonderful homes. And there's the rub.

Scientists want to preserve them, environmentalists want to remove them, or preserve them, depending on the particular group of environmentalists. Oil companies are obliged to decommission them (which is expensive) and governments want whatever get most votes at the next election.

I have the solution.

Step one, cut the top off the rig. That's ugly. Recycle the materials.

Step two, replace top with visitor centre.

It should be sunken down a few meters and have a glass floor area for visitors to enjoy the reef close-up, as well as easy access to the reef for scientific purposes, divers and such. In the future, kids will wonder at how stupid we were

It should also have a nice dome or something on top so a) ships don't bump into it and b) it's less ugly than an oil rig.

It goes without saying that the oil company which sucked trillions of dollars worth of oil from the earth during the rig's lifetime foots the bill for all this. Still cheaper than a full decommissioning. So, win-win-win.


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