Old ammunition or unexploded ordnance (UXO) poses a threat during the construction of oil and gas platforms and the installation of offshore pipelines. If UXO detection and clearance activities are executed erroneously, managed poorly or even overall omitted, UXO threaten the lives of construction workers, the construction schedule, the marine fauna and the public image of the involved parties The increase in knowledge about the potential UXO impacts has created an urge to address the challenge on a strategic level. Therefore, a "Quality Guideline for Offshore UXO Treatment" was developed. The quality guideline addresses the four phases (I) desk based Pre-Investigation, (II) Technical Investigation, (III) Investigation of Suspected UXO Sites and (IV) Clearance and Disposal of present UXO. For each of these phases a detailed work flow of processes was identified. The processes are characterized by the requirements and responsibilities of the stakeholders (clients, maritime surveyors, UXO specialists, consultants and public authorities), that are involved in UXO treatment. For the individual processes the prerequisites for involved personnel as well as requirements for reporting and documentation are laid out. The final chapter of the guideline is a comprehensive delineation 32 relevant technical and natural quality drivers, which serve as operating limits during offshore UXO operations. This paper outlines the need for high quality offshore UXO treatment in the Mediterranean, describes the generation of the quality guideline The final section describes the process of the Relocation of a Suspected UXO Site, which is an excerpt of the guideline.


More than 70 years past the conclusion of the second world war submerged ammunition - commonly referred to as unexploded ordnance (UXO) – remains a global challenge. The problem has been growing steadily since 1870 and at an accelerated speed since World War I [1]. UXO was introduced to the sea during combat operations, such as air raids, mine laying and naval battles, but also due to dumping-activities, that occurred mainly after the conclusion of wars [2]. It presents an obstacle to the economic development offshore. When UXO has to be cleared, it is usually detonated on site or it is salvaged and subsequently disposed onshore [3].

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