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BBC NEWS: Shell in talks on field closure

Oil giant Shell is to begin talks on taking Britain's biggest oilfield out of service, BBC Scotland has learned. Shell said it was looking to set up a new structure to manage the four platforms in the Brent field, which is located off Shetland.
The company said it wanted to consult widely on options for what happens when oil and gas reserves ran out.
Shell denied a claim from the offshore union OILC that workers had been told decommissioning could start by 2010.
The news comes on the day Shell reported a record annual profit for a UK-listed company – £13.12bn.
The results follow a year in which the cost of crude jumped from below $45 a barrel to break the $70 mark.
Managers on Brent's four oil platforms have recently been briefing workers that major changes were on the way.
Benchmark price
The company wants to treat the Brent platforms as a separate entity and is seeking to recruit a new asset leader to carry out the task.
The remit will be to maximise the potential of Brent's remaining reserves of oil and gas.
They will also be expected to come up with options for when the oil and gas runs out.
Shell want to consult widely to avoid the protests that surrounded its attempts in 1995 to decommission the Brent Spar loading facility by dumping it in the Atlantic.
Brent is Britain's biggest oilfield.
It has been producing oil and gas for 30 years and provides the benchmark price for North Sea crude.
The offshore union OILC said workers had been told decommissioning would start with Brent Alpha in 2010 and end with Brent Charlie in 2015.

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