EnergyScapes: Managing ENERGY TRANSITION Global Environmental Recovery

Used rigs may assist Island Nations in adapting to global change

Use of rigs to base communities at sea where coastal space is limited or changes in sea level impact access in support of other industries.

Use of rigs to base communities at sea where coastal space is limited or changes in sea level impact access in support of other industries. Image: Inpex LNG Central Processing Facility –

Steel structures by the hundreds and what to do; towns at sea, farms at sea and all at sea. The potential to use offshore rigs whether jack-up or mobile for accommodating other industries and coastal communities affected by global change is significant. With continued increases in sea level some island nations face the inevitable inundation of much of their established coastal infrastructure.

At the same time, in some regions limitations on coastal development combine with conservation efforts and recreational activities to provide limited opportunity in establishing other industries such as aquaculture, power generation and desalination. Used rigs in combination with offshore power generation and the use of remote monitoring and robotic technology of the industries they might support can provide a home away from home; in effect living at sea to administer and maintain a fully developed and ocean-based economic infrastructure.

Island nation coastal communities and other impacted regions could function independent of coastal access and changes in sea level while at the same time attracting further investment in the development of coastal and marine natural resources. Rather than moving inland, which in some cases is not possible, communities can move down and out onto the ocean. Industries these rig-based communities could support include:

Fisheries and aquaculture

  • Ranching wild caught fisheries – rather than oversupply, floating seafood ranches associated with offshore rig infrastructure mean wild caught quota is caught and held ‘to order’; and
  • Production and Growout – land-based production of seafood is completed offshore since space is limited onshore. 

Power generation and desalination

  • Renewables all at sea – biodiesel from algae, solar arrays, wind farms, tidal power; and
  • Desalination – supply of fresh water ashore.


  • Fishing, boating and diving; and
  • Holiday accommodation.


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Categorised in: Global Change and Sustainability, Maritime Security, Oil and Gas Production

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