Campaigners vow further action as oil rig heads to North Sea

Environmental activists have vowed to continue attempts to prevent an oil rig from reaching a North Sea field despite the structure leaving port overnight.

Greenpeace campaigners occupied the rig in the Cromarty Firth, north of Inverness, between Sunday and Friday.

Two activists were arrested at around 2pm on Friday after police went to the platform, taking the total arrests to 14.

Campaigners have now said the rig, which was under contract to BP, left the area overnight and is off the coast of Scotland.

The environmentalists want BP to stop drilling for oil and hope to stop the Transocean PBLJ rig from reaching the Vorlich oil field.

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Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven said: “For nearly a week, our brave activists strained every sinew to stop this BP rig from drilling new oil wells and fuelling the climate emergency. And it’s not over.

“As we speak, our ship the Arctic Sunrise is sailing towards Scotland ready to play her part in thwarting BP’s plans.

“They say we’re reckless and irresponsible. We say there’s nothing as reckless and irresponsible as pushing the world closer to a climate catastrophe.”

A BP spokesman previously said: “BP supports debate, discussion and peaceful demonstration, but the irresponsible actions of this group are putting themselves and others unnecessarily at risk, while ignoring court orders and police action.

“We share the protesters’ concerns about climate change, we support the Paris Agreement and are committed to playing our part to advance the energy transition.

“However, progress to a lower-carbon future will depend on coming together, understanding each other’s perspectives and working to find solutions, not dangerous PR stunts that exacerbate divisions and create risks to both life and property.”