Environmental activists have climbed on board a 27,000-ton BP oil rig being towed off the coast of Scotland, and are vowing to stay put until the company halts plans to drill new wells.
The two Greenpeace protesters have now “set up camp” on the rig, the group said in a statement Monday. The demonstrators scaled the structure on Sunday evening as it was leaving the inlet of Cromarty Firth in Northern Scotland, bound for the North Sea.
Demonstrators in boats also drew up alongside the rig before climbing on board and unfurling a banner reading “Climate Emergency.” They are demanding BP immediately stop drilling new wells and switch to renewable energy. The group said they have “provisions to stay in place (on the rig) for days.”
The rig was headed for the Vorlich oil field, where activists say BP plans to drill 30 million barrels of oil.
“Warm words flow from BP on their commitment to tackling climate change,” said Jo, a Greenpeace activist from Scotland currently on board the rig. Jo’s last name was not included in the statement.
In reality, the rig was “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,” Jo said.
“We can’t let that happen – that’s why we’re here today.”
BP responded in a statement, saying that, “while we recognize the right for peaceful protest, the actions of this group are irresponsible and may put themselves and others unnecessarily at risk.”
The company added that it shared the protesters’ concerns about the environment and supported the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
BP said it was working with the rig’s owner and operator – Transocean – and the authorities to resolve the situation “peacefully and safely.”
A Transocean spokeswoman told CNN the company is working with BP on the matter and declined to comment further.
The demonstration comes a month after Greenpeace activists locked themselves inside five massive containers, blocking the entrances to BP’s London headquarters.