THE disused Brent Spar oil storage platform, whose possible disposal at sea
caused a major storm last summer, has
yet to find a resting place. Shell, its
owner, has now come up with a plan
which includes several options to dismantle the rig at sea before being completely broken up on land.
Shell's initiative, which was made
public on February 22, incorporates the
process of breaking the rig piece by
piece while it remains in 'a vertical floating position, or else rotating it to
remove large sections which can then be
placed on barges for its journey to the
shore. Shell also wants that contractors
bidding for the disposal work consider
the option of recycling parts of the
14,500 tonne contraption either as part of a harbour or as a fish ranch.
The company, however, has the
difficult task of first convincing the
government that such alternatives are
viable and also favourably inclined to
the environment. It may be recalled that
Shell's decision to dump the platform in
the North Sea in June '95, had several
environment groups including Green-peace, and many European countries,
up in arms. Such was the furore created
that Shell's oil and other products were
boycotted in Germany and UK.
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