BP oil rig makes second U-turn amid climate protest

An oil rig at the centre of a protest by environmental campaigners has been forced to make a second “U-turn” on its way to a North Sea field.

The Transocean PBLJ rig was heading to the Vorlich oil field after being occupied by activists in the Cromarty Firth, north of Inverness, between Sunday and Friday.

It had left the area on Saturday but was being pursued by Greenpeace’s ship, the Arctic Sunrise, and activists failed in an attempt to reboard the rig again on Sunday morning.

The ship then overtook the 27,000-tonne rig, which was under contract to BP, 83 miles off the Scottish coast at 1pm, according to the organisation.

Approximately 20 miles away from the drill site the rig made a U-turn and headed on the same route it came from when leaving Cromarty.

It was heading back towards the oil field on Monday morning before turning back towards land at 10.30am, the campaigners said.

Greenpeace is now following the rig back to land.

Sarah North, Greenpeace activist, said: “We are determined to stop BP drilling new oil wells in the North Sea. The ball is in BP’s court.

“Will they continue with their climate wrecking plan or wake up to the climate emergency that we face?

“We’re calling on them to act with leadership by transitioning to 100% renewable energy in response to this escalating global crisis.”

A BP spokesman said: “Reckless attempts by Greenpeace protesters to interfere with the rig while under transport risk the safety not only of those individuals but anyone responding.

“There is also a clear and blatant breach of criminal law and the court orders
in place against both Greenpeace and their vessel.

“Greenpeace is choosing to wilfully break the law.”