On Wednesday, July 25, 2018, around sundown, the almost 600-foot long, heavy lift, dynamic positioning vessel NOR GOLIATH made the final lift on the upper portion of HIA389A – the gas platform within Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary boundaries at East Flower Garden Bank.

The upper portion of the structure was removed, down to approximately 70 feet below the waterline, leaving the majority of the structure (down to 410 feet at the mudline) in place for divers and fishers to continue enjoying for years to come.

The platform, originally installed in 1981 by Mobil, had reached the end of its production life and was slated for full removal, as required in the lease agreement. Through negotiations between Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and the leaseholder, W&T Offshore, Inc., the structure was partially removed. The remaining 340 feet of structure will stay in place as part of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Artificial Reef Program.

The underwater structure of the HIA389A platform has become an artificial reef, encrusted with all sorts of organisms providing habitat for many more. This video shows the underside of HIA389A before the top was removed. Monitoring of the platform will continue to see how things change moving forward.

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