Shell Brent Field Decommissioning Project

For general information on the Shell Brent Field Decommissioning Project please visit the Shell website

Independent Review Group (IRG)

An Independent Review Group (IRG) of eminent scientists, chaired by Professor John Shepherd from Southampton University, has been engaged since 2007 to review the science and conclusions of the 300+ technical studies commissioned.

The Independent Review Group provides peer review of the quality of the studies carried out. The final responsibility for the contents of the reports however rests with their authors and Shell, and the IRG does not necessarily support or endorse every statement in the individual reports.

The specification of the work for the various studies and the selection of contractors to undertake the work lay with Shell, but the IRG was able to suggest additional topics for investigation.

The IRG will not comment on the final decommissioning options selected. Its role is to ensure that an appropriate range of options has been examined in sufficient depth, so that the information available is adequate for a rational decision to be reached by Shell.

The independence of the IRG is ensured by the IRG, or any of its members, having the right to publish its/their findings, including any objections.

  • Read IRG Terms of Reference

IRG Report

Please find below the concluding Independent Review Group (IRG) Report. This impartial report provides objective analysis of the critical scientific and engineering work used by Shell and Esso to arrive at the Brent Decommissioning Programme recommendations. It represents the culmination of nearly 10 years of challenge and scrutiny of the thinking, studies, investigation and output from the Brent Project team.

To arrive at its conclusions, the IRG has reviewed over 300 documents, and in doing so provided over 4,600 comments which the project team has closed out. In line with UK regulations, this exhaustive and interactive process has ensured that the final recommendations are comprehensive and ‘stress tested’ from an independent academic perspective.

IRG Final Report

IRG Members

Professor Shepherd invited a number of experts to become members of an Independent Review Group, which started its work on 30 January, 2007. The current IRG membership includes: Professor John G. Shepherd-Chairman, Professor Torgeir Bakke, Professor Günther F. Clauss, Professor William D. Dover, Professor Jürgen Rullkötter, Professor W. Brian Wilkinson, Mr. Richard J. Clements-Secretary.

Professor Shepherd may invite others to contribute expertise to the work of the IRG as the need arises. During 2012, the need for additional expertise on the subject of reinjection of cell sediment became apparent and the following members were invited to contribute to the IRG on this subject: Professor David Davies, Professor Quentin Fisher, Professor Ian Main.

IRG member’s details

  • Professor John G. Shepherd
  • Associate Professor Torgeir Bakke
  • Professor Günther F. Clauss
  • Professor David R. Davies
  • Professor William D. Dover
  • Professor Quentin Fisher
  • Professor Ian Main
  • Professor Jürgen Rullkötter
  • Mr Richard J. Clements
  • Professor W. Brian Wilkinson

IRG activities to date

The IRG meetings are chaired by Professor Shepherd who also sets the meeting agenda in consultation with Group members and Shell. Shell personnel are present during parts of the meetings but the IRG also holds private sessions.

The IRG has met on the following occasions

  • Twenty seventh meeting – 29th – 30th November 2016
  • Twenty sixth meeting – 26th – 28th September 2016
  • Twenty fifth meeting – 20th – 22nd July 2016
  • Twenty fourth meeting – 31st May – 2nd June 2016
  • Twentythird meeting – 21st-23rd March 2016
  • Twenty second meeting – 5th-6th January 2016
  • Twenty-first Meeting – 23rd-25th September 2015
  • Twentieth Meeting – 13th-15th April 2015
  • Nineteenth Meeting – 4th-5th February 2015
  • Eighteenth Meeting – 20th-22nd October 2014
  • Seventeenth Meeting – 20th-22nd May 2014
  • Sixteenth Meeting – 13th-15th January 2014
  • Fifteenth Meeting – 3rd-5th June 2013
  • Fourteenth Meeting – 4th-6th March 2013
  • Thirteenth Meeting – 23rd-24th October 2012
  • Twelfth Meeting – 23rd-25th July 2012
  • Eleventh Meeting – 30th-31st May 2012
  • Tenth Meeting – 19th-21st March 2012
  • Ninth Meeting – 28th – 29th June 2011
  • Eighth Meeting – 15th – 16th November 2010
  • Seventh Meeting – 11th-12th May 2010
  • Sixth Meeting – 2nd – 3rd February 2010
  • Fifth Meeting – 17th – 18th September 2009
  • Fourth Meeting – 30th September – 1st October 2008
  • Third Meeting – 11th-12th December 2007
  • Second Meeting – 14th – 15th May 2007
  • First Meeting – 30th – 31st January 2007