NDRI Science Symposium

The National Decommissioning Research Initiative (NDRI) invites you to the NDRI Science Symposium, which will provide the first public overview of the six current projects funded by the NDRI, as well as a keynote presentation from International Speaker Dr Milton Love, Research Biologist at the Marine Science Institute of the University of California.

The NDRI, a NERA initiative, has committed $2.3 million to support six collaborative projects to help Australia address key questions relating to the impact of decommissioning Australia’s oil and gas infrastructure and inform future decommissioning decisions. The six projects — now all underway — come at a critical juncture for Australia’s oil and gas industry, as Australia steps closer to an estimated $50 billion in potential liability associated with decommissioning of oil and gas infrastructure over the next 50 years.

At this knowledge-sharing event, each Project Lead will discuss their project and the research they are undertaking to create a better understanding of habitat value of oil and gas structures, connectivity, invasive species, metal and non-metal degradation, and understanding the potential impact of contaminants.

Keynote speaker Dr Milton Love will provide an international perspective of decommissioning research, sharing his extensive knowledge, as well as information on the rigs to reef program in Santa Barbara and the role of oil and gas platforms as fish habitat.

Dr Milton Love, Research Biologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has conducted research on the marine fishes of California for over 45 year and is the author of over 110 publications on the fishes of the Pacific Coast. For the past 22 years, using manned submarine and remotely operated vehicles, Dr. Love has carried out surveys of fish and invertebrate populations living on oil/gas platforms and natural reefs throughout California — he has published more than 30 papers on platform-related research.

Key Details

  • Wednesday 23 June 2021
  • 9:00am-1:20pm AWST
  • Register for the webinar here.

Event Breakdown


Session One (9am-10.25am) Welcome & Keynote Speaker

Introduction and Welcome: Andrew Taylor, General Manager Decommissioning, NERA & Professor Peter Macreadie, Chair of the NDRI Independent Science Advisory Board (ISAB)

Keynote speaker: Dr Milton Love, Research Biologist, Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

Q&A facilitator: Professor Peter Macreadie, Professor of Marine Science, Deakin University Chair of ISAB


Session Two (10:40-11:40am) Are artificial structures good or bad for marine life? What are the risks and benefits of full removal?

Facilitator: Andrew Taylor, General Manager Decommissioning, CODA

Project Leads & Guest Speakers:

  • Dr Dianne McLean, Fish Ecologist, Australian Institute of Marine Science
    Topic: Project 1.1 Assessing the habitat value of oil and gas infrastructure for fish and other marine organisms
  • Dr Michele Thums, Quantitative Ecologist, Australian Institute of Marine Science
    Topic: Project 1.2 The Influence of Oil and Gas Infrastructure on Ecological Connectivity in Marine Ecosystems
  • Professor Chad Hewitt, Director, Biosecurity and One Health Research Centre, Harry Butler Institute, Murdoch University
    Topic: Project 1.3 Understanding the spread risk of invasive marine species (IMS) in the context of decommissioning.
  • Dr Iain Suthers, Professor University of New South Wales and Sydney Institute of Marine Science; ISAB Science Advisory Board

The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions during the Q&A.


Session Three (12:10-1:10pm) What might happen to structures if left in the ocean?

Facilitator: Dr Tom Cresswell, Senior Research Scientist — Ecotoxicology, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)

Project Leads & Guest Speakers:

  • Professor Robert E Melchers, Professor of Civil Engineering, The University of Newcastle, Australia and Professor Mike YJ Tan, Professor of Applied Electrochemistry and Corrosion Technologies, Deakin University
    Topic: Project 2.1 Developing a Tool for Predicting the Lifespan and Corrosion Behaviour of Decommissioned Oil and Gas Metallic Infrastructure in the Ocean
  • Dr Ibukun Oluwoye, Research Fellow, Curtin Corrosion Centre, Curtin University
    Topic: Project 2.2 An Investigation into the Degradation of Non-Metallic Components of Oil and Gas Infrastructure in the Ocean
  • Associate Professor Stuart Higgins, Deputy Director – Curtin University Oil & Gas Innovation Centre, Curtin University
    Topic: Project 2.3 Risk-based Marine Impact Assessment of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORMs) and Mercury from Decommissioning Oil and Gas Infrastructure

The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions during the Q&A.

  • 23 June
  • AWST, Australia
  • 9:00 AM - 1:20 PM
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