No winners after Greenpeace’s North Sea protest, Oil & Gas UK says

  • Exploration & Production

Oil & Gas UK, a representative body for the UK’s offshore industry, has said that there are no winners following Greenpeace’s 12-day protest over BP’s drilling plans in the UK North Sea. 

Greenpeace campaigner Sarah North holds a banner whilst floating in front of BP rig on day 11 of the protest in the North Sea.

Commenting on reports that Greenpeace has ended its protest in the North Sea, Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) Stakeholder and Communications Director, Gareth Wynn, said on Thursday: “There are no winners as a result of this stunt, which both put safety at risk and failed to produce any solutions to how we can achieve the net zero future we all want to see.

“The arguments from Greenpeace are fundamentally flawed and sadly fail to recognize the reality that prematurely shutting down the North Sea will only increase the UK’s reliance on imports from across the world.”

Wynn added: “We live in a world with an ever-growing demand for energy which at the same time needs an ever-reducing carbon footprint. Our industry is committed to help find practical solutions to one of the biggest challenges we will face. It’s time for deeds, not words, and we’d encourage anyone with a serious interest to work with us.”

Greenpeace ended its twelve-day protest over BP’s UK North Sea drilling plans on Thursday, June 20 after three rig occupations, eleven arrests, injunctions from both sides, and several attempts to stop the BP-chartered and Transocean-owned drilling rig Paul B. Loyd, Jr. However, the environmental group did not stop there. Greenpeace continued with a series of protests targeting BP in Europe and the U.S.

The coordinated protests brought to an end 12 days in which Greenpeace thwarted BP’s attempts to use the Paul B. Loyd, Jr. rig in the North Sea. A series of legal injunctions were brought against Greenpeace, the climbers, and the Arctic Sunrise by BP and its rig contractor Transocean in an attempt to end the protest.

Despite this, three sets of Greenpeace UK climbers prevented BP’s rig from leaving the Cromarty Firth in Scotland for five days. This was followed by a further standoff in the North Sea between the rig and the Greenpeace International ship, the Arctic Sunrise, which prevented the rig from reaching the drill site, including through a Greenpeace International swimmer blocking the rig’s path.

Greenpeace is demanding of BP to immediately end drilling new wells and switch to only investing in renewable energy. If BP does not do that, Greenpeace says, it should wind down its operations, return cash to investors and go out of business.

 

Greenpeace disrupts Chancellor Hammond’s speech

 

As previously reported, the UK Prime Minister Theresa May – expected to leave her PM post next month – has recently announced that the UK will eradicate its net contribution to climate change by 2050. The statutory instrument to implement the climate change plan – introducing a legally binding net zero target to end the UK’s contribution to global warming entirely by 2050 – was laid in Parliament on Wednesday, June 12.

As part of their ‘Climate Emergency’ protest, Greenpeace activists on Thursday interrupted UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Hammond’s speech at London’s Mansion House with alarms and sound systems. Hammond was delivering a speech related to the UK’s commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The activists attempted to replace the Chancellor’s speech with the one calling for greater government investment and leadership to tackle the climate emergency. According to Greenpeace, the speech, written to be read to the assembled bankers by a Greenpeace activist, concentrated on the economic reform and investment the government needs to provide to address the climate emergency, as well as the actions the financial sector needs to take.

Greenpeace has accused the Treasury of trying to water down and delay government action on climate change in recent weeks.

As Greenpeace activists tried to reach the Chancellor and deliver their speech, UK’s Foreign Office minister Mark Field grabbed and pushed one of the activists against a nearby pillar. Field then led the woman out of the room holding her by the back of her neck. CNN reported on Friday that Field had been suspended for his actions by PM Theresa May. The footage of the incident is available on Greenpeace UK’s website.

Offshore Energy Today Staff


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