Greenpeace activists removed from oil rig

| 14th June 2019
'Our activists have blocked BP's rig for four long days, braving the rain and the cold, to stop this oil giant from fuelling the climate emergency.'

Our activists have blocked BP's rig for four long days, braving the rain and the cold, to stop this oil giant from fuelling the climate emergency. 

Two Greenpeace activists who were occupying an oil rig have been removed from the structure and arrested, police said.

Campaigners from the environmental organisation had been occupying the structure since Sunday evening. They were calling on BP to stop drilling for oil and hoped to stop the drilling rig from reaching the Vorlich oil field.

Officers boarded the rig in the Cromarty Firth at around 2pm on Thursday and arrested two men, aged 40 and 50, ending a five-day protest.

Activists

Chief Superintendent George Macdonald, Highlands and Islands divisional commander, said: "The particular nature of this protest on an oil platform within a marine environment made this an extremely complex and challenging operation."

Greenpeace said that on Thursday a police helicopter was seen landing on the rig's helideck, dropping off a group of police officers in climbing gear. The organisation said that rig operators then started lowering the structure into the sea to bring the climbers closer to the water's edge.

Greenpeace said that two police boats then approached the rig while police climbers approached the activists from above and removed a banner reading "climate emergency" from the gantry.

The activists were occupying a gantry on a leg of the 27,000-tonne rig below the main deck. The pair who first boarded the rig on Sunday were relieved by two more activists on Monday evening.

Safe

John Sauven, the Greenpeace UK's executive director, said: "Our activists have blocked BP's rig for four long days, braving the rain and the cold, to stop this oil giant from fuelling the climate emergency.

"They've now been arrested but there are many more ready to take action. Business as usual is not an option - we won't give up until BP ditches fossil fuels and switches to renewables."

Police said the two men who were arrested were taken to shore by boat, bringing the total number of people arrested in connection with the operation to nine. The force said that inquiries are ongoing.

The Transocean PBLJ rig was under contract to BP. A BP spokesman said: "BP is grateful for the support of Police Scotland, Transocean and all authorities who helped bring this incident to a safe conclusion."

This Article

Lucinda Cameron is a reporter with Press Association Scotland

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