Research Program 2 Project 4: Understanding the environmental risk of any Mercury associated with O&G infrastructure on the marine environment.

Full Project Title

Understanding the environmental risk of any mercury associated with O&G infrastructure on the marine environment.

NDRI Reference

RP2-Pro4 (Research Program 2 – Project 4)


To investigate levels of contaminants (mercury) associated with O&G infrastructure (most likely primarily pipelines and manifolds) and their potential impact on the marine environment under different decommissioning scenarios.


There is concern that Contaminants of Primary Concern (COPC) may enter the food chain and bioaccumulate. While this issue arises independently of the decommissioning scenario, there is interest in understanding how the different decommissioning options might affect COPC release and the potential risk of harmful effects on marine life.

  1. What is the environmental risk of different COPC, such as mercury, from O&G infrastructure and what does this mean in terms of potential environment impact?

Applicants may wish to address Research Program 2, Projects 3 & 4 at the same time.

It is expected that this objective will be addressed through literature reviews, expert analysis, risk assessments, and appropriate modelling using data from O&G infrastructure (if available) and from other comparable marine infrastructure (e.g. shipwrecks).

This project should seek to consolidate state of knowledge on:

  • known protective standards for marine receptors from exposure to NORM and/or mercury; and
  • the impact of NORM and mercury, including at various concentrations, on the marine environment

It should also seek to:

  • identify standards and guidelines which seek to measure NORM type and levels in O&G infrastructure; and
  • Provide a sensitivity analysis to understand how material degradation can affect residual NORM and mercury release/risk.