NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Greenpeace North Sea rig disruption efforts continue

Greenpeace activists Image copyright Greenpeace
Image caption The rig has been heading into the North Sea amid protests

Greenpeace efforts to thwart an oil rig heading into the North Sea have been continuing.

The Transocean rig has been heading for BP's Vorlich field, 150 miles (241km) east of Aberdeen, after protesters delayed its departure from the Cromarty Firth for six days.

Greenpeace said the rig had been forced to head towards land. BP accused the group of putting people at risk.

Fourteen people have been arrested since activists first boarded the rig.

Disruption continued on Sunday, and on Monday the environmental group claimed its ship Arctic Sunrise had forced the structure and its supporting tugs to carry out a U-turn.

Activist Sarah North said from the Arctic Sunrise: "We are determined to stop BP drilling new oil wells in the North Sea."

Image copyright BP
Image copyright Greenpeace
Image caption The Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise rig has being pursuing the rig

BP repeated in a statement on Monday afternoon: "Reckless attempts by Greenpeace protestors to interfere with the rig while under transport risk the safety not only of those individuals but anyone responding.

"There is also a clear and blatant breach of criminal law and the court orders in place against both Greenpeace and their vessel. Greenpeace is choosing to wilfully break the law."

The structure had resumed its journey on Friday night, following police operations to remove protesters.

Police Scotland said in a statement: "Police Scotland was made aware of further activity by Greenpeace in the North Sea during the early hours of Sunday and are liaising with BP, Transocean and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency."

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