Shell must take full responsibility for Brent oil field clean-up

Publication date: 2nd May 2017

Commenting on the arrival of the world’s largest construction vessel Pioneering Spirit in Hartlepool as part of Shell’s decommissioning work in the Brent oilfield, Greenpeace UK’s chief scientist Dr Doug Parr said:

“What you see today is the welcome legacy of years of campaigning that have brought about international rules protecting our marine environment from discarded oil rigs. The basic principle that our seas cannot be used as the junkyard of the oil industry has prevailed. These international regulations now need to be defended and enforced.

“Shell is asking the UK government for permission to leave behind the rig’s huge concrete legs, and the oil residues they contain, to cut costs. Under the Ospar regulations, oil firms can only dump this infrastructure if they can prove that’s more environmentally sound than attempting to remove it. Shell haven’t produced any useful evidence to this effect, and are seem instead anxious to wriggle out of the proper process. The UK government should not bend the rules for the sake of Shell’s profits but should uphold hard-won international laws.

“Shell and other oil firms have squeezed billions out of their platforms, driving climate change in the process. The least they can do is to take full responsibility for the clean-up.”