§ Mr. Dobson
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what requests for additional information about future options for the Brent Spar were made to Shell UK by Ministers or officials in his Department subsequent to the Department receiving the Brent Spar abandonment best possible environmental option analysis in early 1994; what date, and by whom and what method, such requests were made; what was the response of Shell UK; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Eggar
[holding answer 26 June 1995]: The decision to dispose of the Brent Spar at a deep-sea site was the best practicable environmental option. That decision was arrived at after three years of detailed work. Regular discussions with Shell throughout that time ensured that the Government were able to carry out a full assessment of the various alternatives. From 13 possible options, six were studied in detail and two exhaustively. It was concluded that deep-sea disposal was preferable to onshore dismantling. Any proposals that Shell now puts forward relating to land disposal will need to address the problems which led to the identification of deep-sea disposal at the best practicable environmental option.