NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Greenpeace ends North Sea rig protest after 12 days

Greenpeace activists Image copyright Greenpeace
Image caption Greenpeace followed the rig into the North Sea

Greenpeace has ended a 12-day protest involving a drilling rig.

Campaigners boarded the Transocean rig in the Cromarty Firth on 9 June, which had been bound for the Vorlich oil field east of Aberdeen.

BP, which contracted the rig, had described the actions of the climate change campaigners as "reckless".

However, Greenpeace said the protest showed what people could achieve, and called on the oil giant to end drilling for new wells.

Image copyright Greenpeace
Image caption Various attempts were made to block the rig's path

The Transocean rig has been heading for BP's Vorlich field, 150 miles (241km) east of Aberdeen, after protesters occupied it, delaying its departure from the Cromarty Firth for five days.

The Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise then shadowed the rig into the North Sea, and the group said the rig was forced to turn back towards land.

'Dedicated activists'

A swimmer with a banner also entered the water as part of attempts to block the rig's path.

The 12-day protest resulted in numerous arrests.

John Sauven, executive director at Greenpeace UK, said: "For the past 12 days we've seen what one Greenpeace ship and a handful of dedicated activists can achieve.

"But they weren't alone. There's a movement of millions calling on companies like BP to clean up their act and truly address the climate emergency."

Image copyright BP

Greenpeace said the period of recent action had been been brought to a close with a series of protests, including in Aberdeen and London.

BP said in a statement: "Greenpeace's irresponsible actions have put people and property unnecessarily at risk, and diverted valuable time and resources away from public services.

"We are grateful for the work carried out by Police Scotland and continue to support them."

'Deeds not words'

The company added: "Progress to a lower carbon future will depend on coming together, understanding each other's perspectives and working to find solutions."

Gareth Wynn, stakeholder and communications director at industry body Oil and Gas UK, said: "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.

"We live in a world with 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."

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