Considerations for the Comparative Assessment include balancing the safety risks, the technical feasibility, societal impacts, the longer term environmental impact and the cost.

Shell has conducted Comparative Assessments for the Alpha steel jacket, drill cuttings, pipelines, gravity base structures (GBS) and cell contents. The objective of these assessments is to show, on balance, which option provides the best solution.

Brent Field Recommendations


The OSPAR Convention provides the framework for protecting and conserving the north-east Atlantic (including the North Sea). Within OSPAR, 15 governments and the EU co-operate to protect the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic.

Within its Decision 98/3, the OSPAR Convention recognises that there are difficulties in removing major installations, such as concrete gravity base structures and large steel jackets. In these instances, operators may make a case for exemption – called ‘derogations’ – from the general rule of complete removal from the sea. These have been granted to North Sea operators in the past allowing them to leave structures similar to parts of the Brent infrastructure, in place.

Find out more about the OSPAR Convention

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