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UPDATE: Cromarty Firth rig 'worst place I've ever slept in but I wouldn't want to be anywhere else', says Greenpeace climate change protester

By Hector MacKenzie

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A Greenpeace protester says the rig 'isn't going anywhere'.
A Greenpeace protester says the rig 'isn't going anywhere'.

TWO Greenpeace activists today vowed to carry on blocking a 27,000-tonne oil rig in the Cromarty Firth operated by BP after spending a sleepless night perched on a gantry on one of the platform’s legs.

The activists boarded the rig yesterday evening as it attempted to leave Cromarty Firth under tow and unfurled a banner reading “Climate Emergency” onto the structure.

The rig was en route to the Vorlich field in the North Sea, where BP wants to drill new oil wells giving them access to 30 million barrels of oil.

Jo, a Scottish Greenpeace activist currently aboard the rig, said: “This is easily the worst place I’ve ever slept in but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. For as long as we are here, this rig isn’t going anywhere. BP says they care about climate change, yet they’re pumping billions into the search for new oil while lobbying against tougher action on climate change. They know full well they’re fueling a climate emergency that threatens the lives of millions. That can’t continue.”

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 say, it should wind down its operations, return cash to investors and go out of business.

It says scientists have been clear that we already have more oil and gas than we can safely burn under the Paris Agreement if we want to limit catastrophic climate change "yet BP maintains its desire to both explore for more and expand its oil and gas production".

"But it's sending a message to these companies and it's also raising awareness with other people. We have to send a message to these companies that it's just not acceptable," she said.

BP said it was working with Transocean and the authorities to try to resolve the situation and Police Scotland said it was aware of an ongoing incident but that the situation was currently within the jurisdiction of the Cromarty Firth Port Authority.

A BP spokesman said: "In all operations safety is our top priority. While we recognise 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 tonnes 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."

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