The first phase of the INSITE (Influence of man-made Structures In The Ecosystem) Programme evolved from the Oil & Gas UK’s Decommissioning Baseline Joint Industry Project JIP (2011-2012) aiming to gather knowledge and experience on decommissioning of offshore structures. The JIP concluded that there was a serious lack of data to describe the influence of man-made structures (MMS) on the North Sea (NS) ecosystem.
In 2013 Oil & Gas UK facilitated the creation of an environmental JIP to improve scientific knowledge on the influence of MMS across all aspects of the NS ecosystem. The overall question was: Has the physical presence of MMS had any discernable ecological effect over the past 40-50 years? The research aim of INSITE was to determine the cumulative effect of MMS and compare this with effects of natural variability and other stressors of the NS region, e.g., river and atmospheric pollution, and climate change.
The industry agreement to fund Phase 1 of INSITE (The Foundation Phase) was signed in April 2014. This Phase is being funded by a group of eight international energy companies: BP, Centrica, CNR International, ExxonMobil, Marathon Oil, Shell, Talisman–Sinopec, and Total. The first research contracts were awarded in December 2015. Phase 1 of INSITE terminated in December 2017.