The inventory carried out by Shell as part of the original BPEO showed that the Spar was not at all the "toxic time bomb" subsequently alleged.
Safety considerations are also a vital element in the assessment of a BPEO, and in comparison with deepwater disposal, the safety risks in terms of fatalities during onshore disposal were calculated to be some six times greater.
At the same time the UK Government made it clear that, until demonstrated otherwise, the BPEO for the Spar would remain deepwater disposal.
Shell will award the implementation contract to whoever develops the BPEO - hopefully around the close of 1996.
The safety implications of the time and labor intensity of such operations will be a vital consideration in the BPEO assessment.