Greenpeace activists board offshore rig heading to drill in North Sea for BP

Greenpeace activists have boarded an offshore drilling rig owned by Transocean and scheduled to start drilling for oil major BP in the UK North Sea in an attempt to hinder the oil company’s plans. 

According to a Greenpeace UK’s official Twitter account, two climbers have boarded the rig in an effort to stop BP’s drilling plans offshore Scotland.

The Paul B. Loyd, Jr. is owned by Transocean and is scheduled to start drilling for BP un the UK sector of the North Sea.

Transocean’s latest fleet status report, published in April 2019, shows that the 1990-built rig started its contract with BP in May. The deal is scheduled to end in November 2019 unless BP exercises its options under the contract, which would see the rig working for the oil major well into next year.

The rig’s contract with BP was announced last October and it was initially planned to start in March this year.

Responding to Greenpeace’s protest, BP said in a statement on Monday: “In all operations safety is our top priority. While we recognize 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.

“We share the protestors’ 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.”

Offshore Energy Today has reached out to Transocean seeking further details about the protest and the rig’s plans in the UK North Sea. The drilling contractor has not responded.

Greenpeace activists have also recently blocked entrances to BP’s headquarters in London as part of its “Climate Emergency” campaign. The activists set up camp inside specially designed containers, blocking the entrance to the building. They were subsequently removed by police and ten people were arrested as a result.