Highlands & Islands

'Interdict served' over Cromarty Firth protest

Oil rig
Image caption The rig was due to be towed from the Cromarty Firth on Sunday night

Greenpeace says it has been served an interdict in an attempt to bring to an end its protest on an oil rig.

The Transocean rig, under contract to BP, was due to leave the Cromarty Firth on Sunday, heading for the Vorlich oil field east of Aberdeen.

But the operation was halted after two Greenpeace campaigners boarded the structure on Sunday evening.

Greenpeace said it had been served the interdict, a legal document, by BP's contractor Transocean.

Image copyright Cromarty Rising
Image caption Cromarty Rising has raised concerns about dust from the rig on Saturday

In a separate matter involving the rig, concerns have been raised over a dust cloud seen at the structure on Saturday.

Local environmental campaign group Cromarty Rising said the dust could have posed a threat to wildlife.

The Cromarty Firth Port Authority said it was investigating after being made aware of the cloud. Transocean has been asked to comment.

The two Greenpeace activists who climbed on to the rig Paul B Loyd Junior on Sunday have been replaced by two other campaigners.

They are calling on BP to stop drilling for new wells.

BP said it shared the campaigners' concerns about climate change and wanted a low carbon future.

But it said while it recognised the right for peaceful protest, "the actions of this group are irresponsible and may put themselves and others unnecessarily at risk".

Greenpeace said the 27,000-tonne rig owned by Transocean was on its way to the Vorlich field to drill new oil wells operated by BP.

Image caption BP said Greenpeace had a right to protest but added that the campaigners had put their own safety at risk

One of the first protesters on board the rig, an activist named Jo, told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme on Monday what she hoped to achieve.

She said: "We are in a climate emergency. This rig is going out to the Vorlich oil field to drill a new hole which will extract 30 million barrels of oil, they hope, when we already cannot afford to burn the oil we've already got in production - it seems a bit foolish so we've come up here to try to stop the rig going out."

She said campaigners intended to stay on board as long as they could but conceded they would only be able to delay the rig's journey for a few days.

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