In the North Sea are a number of old, degenerate shell oil platforms. The Group wants to leave these there – and thus accepts potential dangers to the environment and shipping. From the British side there are even approvals. Now Germany is pushing for a change of course.
Germany urges the Shell Group to completely dismantle several old, disused oil platforms in the North Sea and the Northeast Atlantic. In addition, the Group should dispose of the stored large amount of waste oil, said a spokesman for the Ministry of the Environment in Berlin. There will be a special meeting of the riparian states on Friday in London. The spokesman left open whether Shell could be required to mine the older platforms and dispose of the oil.
Shell plans to leave at least four such disused platforms in the so-called Brent Oilfield in the northern North Sea and the contained therein Do not pump off oil. In January, the UK, as the country of approval, announced and announced that it would grant Shell a waiver of the basic requirement for the complete dismantling of disused platforms. The exemption and the approach of Shell has contradicted Germany according to the information in April 2019. Since no agreement has been reached, Germany had convened a special meeting of the riparian states, it was said. According to Shell's plans, the support structures of four oil rigs will remain in the North Sea.
This is "absolutely unacceptable," said a spokesperson for the Department of the Environment. Rather, from a German point of view, the plants would have to be dismantled. The spokesman pointed out that the still about 11,000 tons of crude oil in the platforms meant a threat to the environment. In addition, the old platforms could jeopardize shipping. The German protest against the actions of the oil company is therefore supported by other riparian states.
In the case of newer oil platforms, the operators are now legally obliged to dispose of them properly. However, this does not apply to old systems. "We must vigorously demand this dismantling," said nevertheless the ministry spokesman. Altogether there are at present still 1740 oil platforms, which would have to be dismantled. Of these, 80 are still home to large amounts of waste oil.
Greenpeace activists occupy platforms
Already on Monday, activists from the environmental organization Greenpeace had occupied two shell platforms in the North Sea and protested the company's refusal To dispose of old plants in an environmentally friendly way. "Shell, clear away your dirt," it said on banners. "The oil in the concrete bases of the platforms will eventually reach the sea," said Greenpeace marine biologist Christian Bussau. Shell leaves "a ticking time bomb."
Greenpeace has called on the British government not to grant Shell approval for the company's proposed action. The Northeast Atlantic Council includes the countries bordering the marine region. The chair is currently Ireland. According to the Federal Environment Ministry, the meeting on Friday is the organization's first special session. Shell is headquartered in the Netherlands.