Clean Energy VS Clean Seabed: Should Oil and Gas Companies Have to Leave the North Sea as They Found It?

Source: Desmog UK

 

Op-Ed By Tom Baxter, a senior lecturer in chemical engineering at the University of Aberdeen.

The principle is simple – if oil and gas companies are going to put lots of steel and concrete in the ocean to extract fossil fuels from the seabed, they should return it to its initial state once they are done.

So it’s understandable and entirely predictable that Scotland’s environmental NGOs including WWF and Greenpeace disagreed with Shell’s current plans to decommission its Brent oilfield. Those plans include leaving large sections of the concrete bases of its platforms in place, instead of removing all the drilling equipment from the sea bed.

The comparative societal, environment and economic assessments undertaken by oil and gas companies to justify their decommissioning address options from full removal to leave in place. The requirements of the associated marine legislations are also a vital element of the analysis; particularly the OSPAR Directives.

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