What are the possibilities for re-use of the facilities (eg for wind or tidal energy farms or other uses)?

Our studies of various re-use options suggest to us that there are no economically viable alternative uses for the Brent facilities, and that when production ceases to be economically viable the facilities will need to be decommissioned.

We have looked at a range of possible re-use options especially related to our business. For technical, economic and logistical reasons, none so far have shown potential to warrant further and more detailed study. If 3rd parties want to study other uses, we are prepared to discuss these. It should be noted that any such re-use potential options will have to accommodate the expensive maintenance and operational costs of these large facilities offshore as well as the ongoing decommissioning liabilities.

What are the environmental impacts from decommissioning and how will Shell manage them?

Shell will be taking account of the safety risks, engineering challenges, and societal and environmental impacts and financial considerations, to find balanced solutions to the many challenges the decommissioning project will face. This will require thorough engagement with a broad cross-section of stakeholders over the next few years. A full Environmental Impact Assessment is being prepared by DNV.

Shell and Esso are committed to decommissioning facilities in accordance with government legislation and in compliance with the OSPAR Decision 98/3.

The selected decommissioning option will ensure that the project’s Health, Safety & Environment targets are not jeopardised and all legal requirements are complied with.  We will adhere to DECC’s guidance notes on decommissioning.

What measures have been adopted to mitigate safety risks to personnel during decommissioning?

Throughout decommissioning the platforms will continue to be managed in compliance with 'The Offshore Installations (Safety Case) Regulations 2005 ("OSCR")/(SI 2005/3117). At each stage there will be a "current safety case" accepted by the regulator, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

As work progresses, any material changes to the current safety case will be submitted for HSE approval in advance of implementation. In addition, there is ongoing, two-way consultation with the statutory offshore safety representatives on the platform (often referred to as the "SI971 reps") regarding safety matters.

Are the environmental NGO’s updated on project options and progress?

Environmental NGOs are one of a wide range of identified stakeholders and, along with all the other stakeholders, they are invited to our dialogue events. We welcome the opportunity to continue to have discussions and to listen to all stakeholder views and input.

How is this decommissioning activity regulated?

Decommissioning activity is regulated by the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change.Read further information.