Workers are scheduled to begin dismantling the Pickets on July 14 in preparation for the installation of three separate 5-acre artificial reefs on the trout-fishing hotspot in Terrebonne Parish, a company official said.
John Seeger, vice president of decommissioning for Fieldwood Energy LLC, said he expects it to take about 40 to 45 days to remove the 13 structures that comprise the Pickets in Ship Shoal 26 out of Dularge and Cocodrie.
“We’re going to have equipment in the field Monday of next week and start removing the structures,” Seeger said. “We’re going to start on the some of the smaller structures first and work our way towards the bigger structures.”
David Cresson, executive director of Coastal Conservation Association Louisiana, previously told LouisianaSportsman.com that construction of the artificial reef tract would take about 20 to 30 days, and would begin right after decommissioning is completed.
An extensive sonar survey completed by the Apache Corporation, owner and operator of the leases, revealed extensive scours, or holes, at the bases of the platforms, and Seeger said care is being taken to keep those in place during decommissioning.
“That’s one of the big goals of the whole removal,” he said. “To not disturb the holes that are around the platforms.
“So once we get everything out, when CCA comes in to lay in the reefs, those will hopefully stay in tact.”
Fishing in the area will be allowed during the decommissioning process, he said.
“There won’t be any anchor lines or anything like that, so fishing can continue,” he said. “That’s not going to disturb anything going on with the platform or the barge.”
The cost for the artificial reefs, which will be made from 15,000 tons of crushed concrete, is $1.2 million, and Cresson said it is being shared among the Artificial Reef Trust Fund through the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Fieldwood Energy LLC, Apache Corporation and CCA.