Protesters leave North Sea oil platforms after more than 24 hours

Activists who spent the night on two North Sea oil platforms to campaign against leaving parts of the old rigs in the sea have ended their protest after more than 24 hours.

Greenpeace International said activists from the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark had boarded Shell’s Brent Alpha and Bravo platforms as part of a protest against plans by the company to leave parts of old structures in the North Sea.

Protests on Shell Brent Oil Platforms in the North Sea
Greenpeace activists have left two oil platforms in Shell’s Brent field (Marten van Dijl/Greenpeace)

The environmental group said climbers scaled the platforms, which are no longer operational and lie north-east of the Shetland Islands, and hung banners which read: “Shell, clean up your mess!” and “Stop Ocean Pollution”.

Greenpeace confirmed on Tuesday that five activists had left the platforms after spending more than 24 hours on board.

It said that Shell’s decommissioning plans will leave parts of four Brent oil platforms at sea with a total of around 640,000 cubic metres of oily water and 40,000 cubic metres of oily sediment containing more than 11,000 tonnes of oil.

Protests on Shell Brent Oil Platforms in the North Sea
Greenpeace activists climbed aboard Shell’s Brent Alpha and Bravo oil platforms (Marten van Dijl/Greenpeace)

Greenpeace International said that although a ban on dumping installations and platforms in the North East Atlantic ocean was agreed in 1998, Shell has requested an exemption from the UK Government.

It is calling for governments to protect the ocean and “not cave in to corporate pressure”.

But a Shell spokesman said on Monday that the company had spent 10 years conducting in-depth research into decommissioning the Brent platforms and its recommendations were the result of more than 300 scientific and technical studies.

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