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Press Release29th Jan 1998

The Brent Spar Solution does not set a precedent for decommissioning

London – The UK Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA) is pleased that Shell UK has announced its preferred disposal option for the Brent Spar. This will now be submitted to the UK Government which will make the final decision for its disposal.

The solution for the Brent Spar does not set a precedent for the decommissioning of other offshore structures in the North Sea because it is unique. The industry position, which is also that of HM Government, continues to be for a case by case assessment for deep water structures.

The final solution for the Brent Spar has been proposed after detailed evaluation to achieve the best practicable environmental option (BPEO). It is the result of a balance of all factors involved: environment, cost, health & safety, technical feasibility and public acceptability.

The process undergone for the Brent Spar supports a case by case approach, said James May, Director-General of UKOOA. Each structure is different and is built for a particular set of circumstances. It is unrealistic to have a generic solution for disposal of all offshore oil and gas installations. We need to maintain flexibility in the regulatory process so that the best solution can be reached for each structure, he said.

Notes for editors:

UKOOA represents 37 operating companies licensed by HM Government to explore for and produce oil and gas in UK waters.

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