Inaugural Partnership to study the Marine Habitat Value of Subsea Facilities

Partnership with Cooper Energy, Deakin University and Australian Institute of Marine Science to assess the environmental value of underwater infrastructures.

Video Courtesy: Cooper Energy


Cooper Energy, Deakin University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) are partnering together to assess end of field life environmental options for 13 km of seabed flowlines and 10 km of umbilical control cables used to connect subsea wells and equipment. The flowlines and cables are located 53 km offshore Victoria in the Gippsland Basin in water depths of 130-270 metres. Offshore oil and gas regulations demand removal of all infrastructure at the end of field life. However, the man-made structures can be rapidly colonised by marine life including sponges and fish. There is also evidence to suggest that the pipelines act as feeding pathways for seals. To investigate alternative options that may have better environmental outcomes, Cooper Energy is partnering with Deakin University and AIMS to independently study the marine habitat value of the subsea facilities.

The study focused on four key areas:

  • An understanding of benthic communities, and the diversity and abundance of fish.

  • Daily time series data informing fish residency rates and production models.

  • Comparison of fish residency rates on entrenched versus unentrenched equipment.

  • Understanding the changes in benthic communities over time.

Cooper Energy Managing Director David Maxwell said the study ‘will be one of the first of its kind in Australian temperate waters offshore Victoria [and] allows Cooper Energy to contribute to a field of science uncovering the environmental value of the built environment.’


This partnership shall deliver independent, evidence-based scientific advice that in the long-term will drive environmental stewardship in industry.


Check out this link for more information.

Last edited on the April 12th, 2021.

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