EDINBURGH, UK – Eight environmental groups have rejected Shell’s proposals for decommissioning facilities serving the Brent field in the UK northern North Sea.
Shell had proposed leaving the legs of three of the field’s platforms after completing the decommissioning program.
However, a joint submission from the eight environmental/conservation organizations – WWF, Greenpeace UK, the Marine Conservation Society, Friends of the Earth Scotland, KIMO, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, and RSPB Scotland – stated that:
- “It has not been possible to come to a view on the decommissioning proposal due to insufficient information provided by Shell.”
- “The material presented cannot be clearly cross referenced to OSPAR 98/3 requirements for each of the major components and pollutants for which Shell seeks derogation.”
- “There is a lack of quantitative analysis based on hard data, a significant reliance on subjective, qualitative judgments and opinions by experts, including Shell’s own engineers, which has led to some options being excluded from further consideration.”
- “There is also a lack of quantification of the uncertainties in many of the estimates made, which was also highlighted by the Independent Review Group.”
The submission recommended that Shell should provide further information to allow the various groups to more adequately assess the proposals.
WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “Despite over 3,000 pages of documentation, it has not been possible to come to a view on Shell’s decommissioning proposal due to insufficient information being provided by the company across several key areas.
“The internationally agreed OSPAR rules set out very clear criteria and procedures for operators to follow in carrying out such assessments, but we do not believe they have not been fully adhered to in this case. The material presented cannot be clearly cross referenced to the OSPAR requirements meaning we cannot assess whether or not there is a solid case for the derogations sought by Shell…
“Given the enormous size of the rigs [platforms] and the iconic nature of the Brent field, its decommissioning is being watched closely, both here and globally, and it should therefore be aiming to set the highest possible benchmarks for the rest of the industry to follow.”
A full copy of the joint consultation response by WWF, Greenpeace UK, the Marine Conservation Society, Friends of the Earth Scotland, KIMO, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, and RSPB Scotland is available on request.