§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many oil and gas platforms in the North sea are estimated to he taken out of production by 2000; and of those how many are expected to be(a) brought ashore for dismantling; (b) toppled at site and (c) removed and sunk in a deep water location. 
§ Mr. Eggar
Depending upon field performance and economic factors at the time, current estimates indicate that some 32 fixed offshore installations on the United Kingdom continental shelf could reach the end of their lives by the turn of the century. Of these, 19 are located in water depths of less than 75 m and in accordance with international guidelines will be totally removed. Their disposal will be considered on a case-by-case basis, but it is likely that they will be returned to shore. Decisions on those installations in deeper water, where under international guidelines partial removal is permitted, will be taken according to individual circumstances and in the light of a comparative assessment of the alternative options. This will have proper regard for environmental considerations and other users of the sea, as well as risk, technical feasibility and cost in order to arrive at the best practicable environmental option.