SHELL HOPES TO TALK TO GREENPEACE CHIEF ABOUT BRENT SPAR

SHELL HOPES TO TALK TO GREENPEACE CHIEF ABOUT BRENT SPAR

Shell U.K. Exploration & Production announced that it has suggested a meeting in October with Greenpeace International chief Thilo Bode to discuss the disposal of the Brent Spar oil buoy. The announcement followed exploratory talks last week in London between Shell U.K. Chairman Chris Fay and Peter Melchett, executive director of Greenpeace U.K.

Mr. Fay said: "It was a useful opportunity to air our differences over the Brent Spar. We also had a constructive exchange over the wider aspects of the decommissioning of redundant offshore petroleum installations."Shell U.K. spokesmen said recently that the company was reviewing all options for the disposal of the buoy, in the light of suggestions that have come flooding in from engineering contractors.

The options under review include the original proposal to sink the Brent Spar in a deep trench in the Atlantic Ocean.

Shell maintains the purpose of its review is to ensure that whatever it decides to do is the best practicable environmental option. It said it expects the review to take several months.

Meanwhile, analysts at Den Norske Veritas are examining the contents of the buoy. Shell is expected to release the results of the audit in mid- October.

Earlier this year, Shell was forced to abandon plans to sink the Brent Spar after Greenpeace launched a campaign protesting against the decision. This sparked widespread public protests and boycotts of Shell retail outlets in many European countries, most notably in Germany.

Despite the U.K. government's unwavering support for its decision to dump the Brent Spar, Shell changed its mind. The buoy is moored in Norway while the company reviews its options.