The sustained drop in the price of oil will cost us jobs and lost tax revenue from the North Sea. It is time the government reconsidered its decommissioning policy.
As it stands, the rigs are brought ashore, dismantled and cleaned to a standard you could eat your dinner off. The billions this will cost are effectively lost tax revenue. The rigs could be cleaned up in situ to a lesser but reasonable standard. Yes, this might result in a greater chance of environmental damage. But the billions lost to public services carry a certainty that many will receive a lower standard of education and healthcare.
There is also the possibility of great environmental gain. The rigs sunk in deep water could form of a huge artificial reef in a marine environmental protection area.
David J Hogg