Activists have halted the progress of an oil rig destined for BP's North Sea exploration program off the coast of Scotland, environmental group Greenpeace said on Sunday.
The rig, Paul B Loyd Jr, owned by Transocean, was on its way to the Vorlich field to drill for operator BP.
Greenpeace said in a statement it is demanding that the supermajor put an immediate end to new drilling and switch to investing solely in renewable energy.
A team of activists in boats drew up besides the 27,000-metric-ton rig as it attempted to leave Cromarty Firth under tow, north of Inverness. They scaled the structure to unfurl a banner declaring a “Climate Emergency”, and are occupied a gantry on a leg of the rig, below the main deck.
BP said in a statement on Monday, “In all operations safety is our top priority. 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.
“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.
“We’re reducing emissions from our own operations – down 1.7 million metric tons last year – improving our products to help our customers reduce their emissions, and creating new low carbon businesses. We are committed to being part of the solution to the climate challenge facing all of us.”
A statement from Greenpeace quoted one of the activists who scaled the rig, Jo, who said: “Warm words flow from BP on their commitment to tackling climate change. Yet this rig, and the 30 million barrels it seeks to drill, are a sure a sign that BP are committed to business as usual, fueling a climate emergency that threatens millions of lives and the future of the living world. We can’t let that happen - that’s why we’re here today.”
Last month, Greenpeace activists blocked BP's London headquarters in London, demanding the company end its oil exploration.