The Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Conducts Second Monitoring Analysis for Rig to Reef Pilot Project

30 April 2024 – The Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Republic of Indonesia (MMAF), supported by KMOUC, conducted the second monitoring activity for the artificial reef of the Pilot Project for Decommissioning and Rig-to-Reef (R2R) Re-utilization of Offshore Plants in Indonesia, located offshore the city of Bontang, East Kalimantan. This monitoring activity is part of the Implementing Arrangement of the pilot project, where the Indonesian government has a role in monitoring the growth of the artificial reef.

This monitoring period, spanning over a week, utilized various methods of analysis such as diver documentation and study, E-DNA study (through water sampling), and water quality testing. The monitoring team includes divers and lecturers from the Faculty of Fisheries of Mulawarman University; divers and experts from Oceanogen; along with personnel of the MMAF and the Pontianak Coastal and Marine Resources Management Center (BPSPL Pontianak). Diver and team safety was also provided by local Water Police and Indonesian Navy personnel.

Initial analysis of the monitoring activities showed not only clean water levels surrounding the artificial reef, but also a growth in the soft coral population, fish schooling, and also the sprouting of varying species of hard corals. Data collected in the field will be taken by each institution respectively to be studied further.

Source: Oceanogen

Following this monitoring activity, the MMAF, facilitated by experts from Mulawarman University, plans to conduct a socio-economic study of the artificial reef to potentially measure further the extended benefits of R2R structures. Though the current and previous monitoring activities show the healthy growth of biodiversity of the reef, additional analysis of community impacts of R2R will further support future implementation of R2R activities in Indonesian waters by offshore Oil and Gas Operators.

The MMAF and KMOUC are hopeful that through these monitoring studies, future R2R projects can be facilitated effectively, keeping in mind both the importance of biodiversity and marine conservation and also finding an easy and cost-effective decommissioning solution for operators. In supporting this, the MMAF, assisted by KIORCC, aims to develop an R2R policy to be implemented in Indonesia in the future.