Oil Platform Diving! | JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD


This time on Jonathan Bird’s Blue World,
Jonathan explores the world beneath oil platforms! Hi, I’m Jonathan Bird and welcome to my world! For more than a hundred years, petroleum products
have powered our world. While more environmentally-friendly technologies
like wind and solar are making gains, oil is going to continue to provide most of
our energy until newer technology makes it obsolete. One of the many environmental challenges with
oil is getting it in the first place. Vast deposits of petroleum are inconveniently
located beneath the sea floor. Accidents happen, and sometimes environmental
disasters are the result. But drilling for oil at sea does have one
environmental benefit. I’m heading to the Gulf of Mexico. But this time I’m not going to be diving
reefs or looking for whale sharks. I’m boarding a dive boat in Freeport Texas,
on a mission to dive an oil rig. After a 6 hour run about 100 miles off shore,
we reach a decommissioned rig known as High Island 389. Although this platform once produced natural
gas, now its dormant and unused. As a result, we can tie the boat to the rig
and dive underneath! As soon as we tie up, a large school of grunts
comes over to give our boat a look. JT the divemaster puts the ladder down and
its time to get suited up. Christine and I make our way down the line
tied to the structure. Underwater, the steel tubes that make up the
structure of the platform don’t look like metal at all. They have become entirely encrusted with marine
growth. The entire structure is like a huge underwater
jungle gym with a soft fuzzy coating. I fire up my camera and move in for a closer
look. Every available square inch of surface area
is festooned with life. Sponges, coral, hydroids, bivalves and dozens
of other encrusting species have made the platform home. It has become in fact a geometrically symmetrical
artificial reef. Like a more conventional coral reef, it has
attracted fish as well. Smaller fish hide in the nooks and crannies
while larger fish come in looking for food. The more I explore the marine life of High
Island 389, the more I find. A grouper is chilling out. A frantic group of angelfish gorge themselves
on abundant sponges. They don’t seem to mind me at all. The water here is more than 100 meters deep,
so I can only see about the upper third of the structure. Still, the part I can see harbors an unfathomable
amount of life. Every square meter contains countless creatures
going about their lives in their underwater high rise apartment building. After an hour of wandering around the structure,
it’s time to head back to the boat. I do a safety stop on the line for a couple
minutes and then I can head up. After the dive, the crew fills tanks and the
captain moves the boat. We’re heading a few miles to another platform. Tying up to the platform without crashing
into it is a delicate operation. Unlike the last platform, this platform is
still being used! It’s really noisy, but it’s supposed to
be a great dive! We have received special permission to see
how the marine life coexists with an active platform. I hit the water, and I’m met by a school
of fish as I head over towards the structure. If anything, this platform actually seems
to have more fish around it than the last one. The pilings seem to have just as much growth
as the decommissioned platform. Because these large platforms are the only
shallow water structures out here in the open ocean, they are incredible marine life magnets. Not only do fish love them, but so do divers,
fishermen and conservationists. When a platform is decommissioned, by law
it must be removed by its owner within 5 years. But a lot of people say that decommissioned
platforms are better off left in place as artificial reefs. High Island 389 should have been taken down
in 2013, but efforts to save the structure as an artificial reef have given the platform
a reprieve. The oil and gas industry isn’t exactly known
as being particularly friendly to the environment. But it’s not all bad. Oil platforms provide a structure to support
magnificent offshore artificial reefs, creating habitat where once there was none. It just goes to show that things are not always
what they appear at first, especially in the Blue World!

100 thoughts on “Oil Platform Diving! | JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD

  1. I wonder if those large steel columns tubing is made of superdulex material. It would be super expensive to build it that way.

  2. Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope. Im out of here ?

  3. That is some good quality camera, why is it better than my note 3 camera? My phone camera cant have that clear resolution omg

  4. Just goes to show how nature can make a claim on anything!!! Sharky wonders why none of her friends were there… maybe they will be???

  5. ?????????????????????☺️?????????????????????????? ???????????????????????‍?‍??‍?‍??‍?‍??‍?‍?‍??‍?‍?‍??‍?‍?‍??‍?‍?‍??‍?‍?‍??‍?‍?‍????????????

  6. Its fascinating how nature and wildlife make use of man made structures. Its literaly a man made coral reef or better still a huge underwater fish city 🙂

  7. 9:10 but the fishs only need this new reefs because of the clima change, from the humans (oilplatforms and other things). But it's a nice and interesting video, Like!

  8. It is like a city. many different fish living as you said in a high rise apartment building. The color of the city looks like Christmas time at the rig. Thanks for not pointing your camera down on these rigs. It would be like looking at a black hole of the unknown. Pipes disappearing into blackness. Fear of thee unknown. Down, Down never to return. Thanks again for an adventure that never quits.

  9. Hello sir jonathan ill alwys watch blue world and its very quite amazing how wonderful life on ocean.. Godbless always

  10. Good example. To talk more about. I personally don’t like it.
    Rustic waters don’t seem pure enough. Just corrosively and less ideal.
    Disperfect. Hurt. Even less heavenly. Thanks for anyone for being smart enough. Earlier on? Artificial reef is just a lazy way of being ignorant redundant.
    I don’t want to argue. Just keep getting people ready for testimate training. Thanks ❤️???

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