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Legal threat for Greenpeace

By Lorna Thompson

GREENPEACE activists occupying a BP rig in the Cromarty Firth have been threatened with legal action over their protest against North Sea drilling.

Contractors attempted to lower an interdict in a bucket to the two activists occupying a gantry leg below deck.

Greenpeace said the legal threat would not stop their protest.

The protest started on Sunday night as the 27,000-tonne vessel attempted to leave the Cromarty Firth under tow, north of Inverness. A team of activists in boats drew up alongside the rig and scaled the structure to unfurl a banner declaring a "climate emergency".

The activists are attempting to stop the platform reaching the Vorlich oil field where it hopes to access up to 30 million barrels of oil.

Greenpeace is demanding that BP immediately end drilling new wells and switch to investing only 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 climbers aboard the BP oil rig.
Greenpeace climbers aboard the BP oil rig.

Jo, a Greenpeace activist who was aboard the rig, said: "The government may be bent on draining the North Sea of every last drop of oil but this clearly contradicts their climate commitments.

"The perverse idea we must maximise our oil and gas reserves cannot continue. That means the government must seriously reform the Oil and Gas Authority and instead invest heavily in the crucial work of helping oil communities like those in Scotland move from fossil fuels to the industries that will power our low-carbon future."

BP said it shared the campaigners' concerns about climate change. However, it deemed their actions "irresponsible" and said they "may put themselves and others unnecessarily at risk".

The Vorlich oil field is an area rich in wildlife, with BP’s own assessment identifying it as a key spawning ground for many fish populations, and is within 30km of two marine reserves.

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