Greenpeace Protestors Climb Down from North Sea Platforms Hours After Saying They Would Stay as Long as Needed
Posted 15/10/2019 13:25
Greenpeace activists have left two rigs on the North Sea due to safety concerns.
The environmental group said increasingly bad weather had forced it to take the climbers off the Brent Alpha and Bravo platforms.
Shell confirmed three protesters had occupied the two platforms from Monday morning.
Greenpeace activists from the Netherlands, Germany and Denamrk Climbed aboard rigs in shell's Brent Field off of Shetland yesterday. The group are protesting decommissioning plans and have vowed to occupy the two north sea oil platforms for "as long as needed" to get their message across. The group says Shell's decommissioning plans would dump tonnes of “oil waste” into the sea.
Two protestors climbed and occupied the Breant Alpha platform, while another ascended the legs of the Brent Bravo. They then rolled out signs saying "Shell, clean up your mess".
Activists reached the field, 115 miles north-east of Shetland, via the Rainbow Warrior ship owned by Greenpeace International. It is not known if the Rainbow warrior itself breached the restricted 500m zone around the pletforms. The activists boarded the platforms from a smaller boat launched from the Rainbow warrior.
Oil and Gas People filmed an incident in June at Aberdeen harbour where a similar Greenpeace craft was chased out of the harbour.
The protest comes ahead of special meeting of Ospar which takes place in London on Friday. Ospar is an agreement between 15 governments to protect Europe’s marine environment.
Some member countries have lodged objections to Shell’s plans to leave the legs of three of the Brent platforms – Bravo, Charlie and Delta – in the sea, with concerns around the contents of concrete oil storage cells within them deteriorating.
Shell insists its plans are both safe and “environmentally sound”, with any release of the cells’ contents happening gradually over centuries.
Joris Thijssen, director of Greenpeace Netherlands, said: “The 11,000 tons of oil that is still stored in the foundation of the platforms will sooner or later end up in the sea.
“That is unacceptable.
“The North Sea is not a garbage dump. Shell has to clean up its mess.
“Greenpeace urges all Ospar governments to protect the sea and not to give in to the pressure of a major polluter.”
Under rules set out by Ospar (the Oslo/Paris convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic), installations must be removed in their entirety once they reach the end of their production cycle.
Shell has been seeking an exemption to this, arguing the safety risks associated with trying to remove the concrete structures for the Brent Bravo, Charlie and Delta platforms outweigh the “minimal environmental benefit”.