Greenpeace activists vow to continue protest on oil rig

Environmental campaigners who boarded an oil rig as it was being towed out to sea have vowed to continue their protest until BP stops drilling for new oil wells.

On Sunday evening at around 6:30pm, Greenpeace activists pulled up in a boat alongside the rig near Inverness, before climbing aboard and unveiling a banner declaring a climate emergency.

Currently occupying a gantry on a leg of the 27,000-tonne rig below the main deck, the activists want to stop the drilling rig from reaching the Vorlich oil field where it is believed to be trying to extract up to 30 million barrels of oil.

Greenpeace activists on the rig
Greenpeace activists on the rig

One activist, known as Jo, is currently aboard the rig.

“This is easily the worst place I’ve ever slept in but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” said Jo.

“For as long as we are here, this rig isn’t going anywhere. BP says they care about climate change, yet they’re pumping billions into the search for new oil while lobbying against tougher action on climate change.

“They know full well they’re fueling a climate emergency that threatens the lives of millions. That can’t continue.”

Responding to the protest, a spokeswoman for BP said: “In all operations, safety is our top priority.

“While we recognise the right for peaceful protest, the actions of this group are irresponsible and may put themselves and others unnecessarily at risk.

“We are working with Transocean — the rig’s owner and operator — and the authorities to assess the situation and resolve it peacefully and safely.”

Greenpeace activists
Greenpeace activists

The spokeswoman added: “We share the protesters’ concerns about the climate. We support the Paris agreement. And we are working every day to advance the world’s transition to a low carbon future.

“We’re reducing emissions from our own operations – down 1.7 million tonnes last year – improving our products to help our customers reduce their emissions, and creating new low carbon businesses.

“We are committed to being part of the solution to the climate challenge facing all of us.”