Don’t Let Shell Leave Oil in the North Sea

Target: Andrea Leadsom, U.K. Secretary of the Environment

Goal: Dismiss request that would allow Shell to leave sludgy oil encased in Oil rig remnants in the North Sea.

Oil firm Shell is seeking permission from the U.K. government to leave the remains of decommissioned oil rigs in the North Sea. These remnants consist of massive concrete legs, and 42 60-meter tall concrete storage cells filled with a mixture of sand and oil. The former presents a risk for shipping and fishing in the region; the latter is an environmental disaster waiting to happen. Shell has argued that the storage cells could withstand the sea for hundreds of years without spilling, however, these projections are unreliable in the face of larger storm surges, and more violent storms driven by global climate change.

The amount of oil that Shell is seeking to leave on the seabed exceeds international standards. While representatives from Shell claim that spills will have a ‘very small’ environmental impact, fish stocks in the region are still recovering from overfishing and spills are bound to undermine sustainable fishing in the area. Shell must be required to produce an environmentally sound plan for removing the oil from these decommissioned rigs. Sign our petition and demand that the U.K. government deny Shell’s request to leave theses oil rig remnants in the North Sea.


Dear Secretary Leadsom,

As you know, Shell is seeking permission to leave remnants of several Brent Field rigs in the North Sea. These remnants include concrete legs and 60-metre tall storage cells that the firm plan to leave filled with a mixture of oil and sediment. These remnants represent a threat to fishing fleets, shipping, and ecosystems in the North Sea.

While Shell claims that any spill will have a ‘very small’ impact on the environment, fishing stocks in the North Sea are in the process of recovering from overfishing. A spill in the North Sea could compromise efforts to produce sustainable fisheries in the area. Shell claims that the concrete cells encasing the oil can withstand North Sea storms. However, most projections of the impact of global climate change predict that extreme weather events exceeding records will become more common in the North Sea in the next decades. I urge you to reject Shell’s request and direct the firm to produce an environmentally sound plan to remove the oil and as much of the structure as possible.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Sitg Nygaard

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  1. Shell’s attempt to avoid cleaning up after itself is deplorable. Have these people no care, no concern, no conscience? They should NOT be allowed to put the ocean and marine life at risk – and they SHOULD have to clean up their entire mess.

  2. What a disgusting company! I will make sure I don’t purchase any of their products if they don’t clean up their disgusting mess! How dare they take the slightest chance of destroying a delicate and precious environment! They should be ashamed. I cannot believe taxpayers help fund these disgusting, lazy and greedy gas and oil companies without our consent and why do we since they make so much money as it is!!!

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