NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

First Minister Alex Salmond rejects deep sea drill ban

First Minister Alex Salmond has rejected calls from Scottish Green leader Patrick Harvie to support an EU vote to ban deep sea drilling.

The European Parliament is considering a moratorium following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

However Mr Salmond told the Scottish Parliament that safety standards in Scottish water were robust.

Greenpeace campaigners have been targeting deepwater drilling activities in recent weeks.

Activists boarded a Cairn Energy drilling rig off Greenland in August, but were later arrested when they left.

And earlier this week Greenpeace ended its three day blockade of a drilling ship 100 miles off Shetland, after oil company Chevron won a second court order.

Protesters had brought drill ship Stena Carron to a standstill by swimming in front of it.

Previously they spent five days in a pod which they had attached to the ship's anchor chain, before Chevron took legal action to remove it.

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