Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Explosives Use in Decommissioning – Guide for Assessment of Risk (EDGAR): II Determination of Sound Exposure Levels for Open Water Blasts and Severance of Conductors and Piles from Below the Seabed

Version 1 : Received: 13 July 2021 / Approved: 23 July 2021 / Online: 23 July 2021 (10:41:33 CEST)

How to cite: Brand, A. Explosives Use in Decommissioning – Guide for Assessment of Risk (EDGAR): II Determination of Sound Exposure Levels for Open Water Blasts and Severance of Conductors and Piles from Below the Seabed. Preprints 2021, 2021070535 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202107.0535.v1). Brand, A. Explosives Use in Decommissioning – Guide for Assessment of Risk (EDGAR): II Determination of Sound Exposure Levels for Open Water Blasts and Severance of Conductors and Piles from Below the Seabed. Preprints 2021, 2021070535 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202107.0535.v1).

Abstract

A simple underwater noise model suitable for use with explosive severance of well conductors and piles during the decommissioning of oil and gas subsea structures is introduced and evaluated against data from five projects in the US. This study focuses on a novel model for the determination of sound exposure levels. The model has been developed to enable determination of impact areas for marine mammals and fish. Simulated received underwater sound exposure levels were significantly correlated with measurements for all scenarios. The maximum total error achieved between simulations and measurements was 2.6%, suggesting that predictions are accurate to within 3% of the average measurement. A low relative bias was observed in the simulations when compared to measured values, suggesting only a small systematic underestimate (≤ 0.5% of average measurement) for most severance operations and a small overestimate (0.14%) for open water blasts.

Keywords

Underwater noise modelling; decommissioning; explosives; sound exposure level; marine mammals; fish

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