Police looking to remove Greenpeace activists protesting on North Sea rig

Activists from the environmental group Greenpeace are still occupying a Transocean rig in Scotland, which was contracted by BP for drilling operations in the UK North Sea. Scotland police are beginning attempts to remove the activists occupying the rig and a police helicopter is above the site. 

Two Greenpeace activists boarded the Paul B. Loyd, Jr. rig last Sunday just as the rig was set to leave the Cromarty Firth. The action is part of the group’s efforts to stop BP’s drilling plans offshore Scotland.

A couple of days later, Greenpeace was served with an injunction order. Greenpeace UK said via its social media accounts on Tuesday that the injunction was served to stop the protest on the Transocean-owned Paul B. Lloyd, Jr. rig.

This announcement came shortly after Greenpeace stated that its activists were still on the rig and that they brought in fresh supplies along with new climbers.

In a statement on Thursday Greenpeace said that the rig workers had informed the activist that the rig would be lowered 20 meters into the sea to allow the police access by boat. One Greenpeace activist is now in a portaledge attached to the anchor chain in an attempt to thwart the removal efforts.

Greenpeace is demanding that “BP 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.

Rosie Rogers, Senior Climate Campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “We are determined to resist removal as long as BP remains determined to drill for oil. BP’s plans are completely and unacceptably at odds with the climate emergency we are facing. If they put half as much effort into investing in renewables as they appear to be putting into removing us from their rig, the world would be looking like a much better place right now.”

Furthermore, BBC reported on Thursday that the first two climbers had appeared in court as they were charged with disorderly conduct by scaling the rig in the Cromarty Firth. BBC further reported that the activists were released on bail but under special conditions. Namely, they were ordered to leave Scotland and not attempt to enter the waters of the Cromarty Firth.

Greenpeace vowed to stay on the rig “until BP halt their dangerous plans to drill for oil off the coast of Scotland.”

At the time of writing this article, Greenpeace’s activists have been on the rig for more than 90 hours.

As a response to Greenpeace’s protest on the rig, BP on Monday said: “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.”

In addition, BP said: “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.”

Following the statement on Monday, BP has not issued any further statements regarding the protest.