MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. Shell has begun public consultations on decommissioning the Brent oil and gas field, one of the largest in the North Sea, the company said in a press release on Wednesday.
Before the start of consultations the company submitted a comprehensive decommissioning program to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
According to the press release, the program recommends "that the upper steel jacket on the Brent Alpha platform is removed, along with the topsides of the four Brent platforms, debris lying on the seabed, and the attic oil contained within the concrete storage cells of the gravity base structures."
"The program will also recommend that the three gravity base structures, Brent Alpha footings, the sediment contained within the concrete storage cells of the gravity base structures (Brent Bravo, Brent Charlie and Brent Delta), and the drill cuttings piles remain in place," the company said.
Brent field is located 115 miles north-east of the Shetland Islands.
Since 1976, the field has produced around three billion barrels of oil equivalent, which is almost 10% of UK production.
Shell began preparations for Brent decommissioning in 2006.
In particular, production from Brent Delta platform ceased in 2011 and from Brent Alpha and Brent Bravo in November 2014. However, production from Brent Charlie platform will continue for several years to come, the company said.
More than 300 expert studies have been completed and the results analyzed and verified by a group of independent scientists.
"Shell has undertaken thorough analysis, extensive scientific research and detailed consultation with over 180 stakeholder organizations over the past 10 years. Working within the tightly defined regulatory process, we believe that our recommendations are safe, technically achievable, environmentally sound and financially responsible. Shell encourages all those with an interest in the decommissioning of the Brent field to review, reflect on and respond to this consultation document," the company said.