Throughout the years, the oil and gas industry has drilled thousands of oil and gas wells in the coastal areas of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Many of the wells, which still exist in the area, are over 70 years old. Initially major oil companies drilled the wells. Many major oil companies then divested themselves of these wells to smaller oil operators, who would also reap some benefit from the existing wells. The original drillers received the lion's share of the major production. Thousands of these wells have since been abandoned and ownership has been returned to the coastal states in which they reside.
In recent years, the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Department of Energy, and other governmental bodies of the states have declared that the original operators of the wells must re-visit the wells that they divested themselves from and must decommission these wells to the present environmental regulations and laws.
The Shallow Water, Automatic Well Decommissioning Vessel presentation describes a marine vessel designed to accomplish the disbandment of these abandoned wells. It is estimated that the decommissioning program will exceed $75 Billion US Dollars. The automated decommissioning marine vessel design will describe the marine engineering that is necessary to enter extremely shallow areas and provide an automatic means to decommission the abandoned wells in the rivers, bays and sounds.