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UK agrees further talks over disposal of old Shell oil rigs

BERLIN (AP) — Britain has agreed to hold further talks with other European countries before deciding whether to approve Shell's plans to decommission four disused oil rigs in the Atlantic.

Germany had called a special meeting Friday of the OSPAR Commission, which oversees a treaty on protecting the Northeast Atlantic, because of concerns the rigs containing about 11,000 metric tons (12,125 tons) of crude oil residue could pose an environmental risk.

The OSPAR secretariat said after the meeting in London that Britain "will further engage in discussions with parties before taking a decision on whether to issue the permit" exempting Shell from having to remove all of the huge steel and concrete platforms.

Germany's environment ministry said it hoped the talks would help establish procedures for dealing with further platform disposals.