Cromarty Firth rig re-occupiers are arrested

Greenpeace members who re-occupied an oil rig in the Cromarty Firth, north of Inverness, only hours after police moved in to end the protest, have been arrested.

Two men had been arrested on June 13th on the Transocean rig, which is on contract to BP. Then two more activists boarded the rig, which had been due to be towed to an oil field east of Aberdeen. The second pair were also arrested. There were three other arrests among a group of protesters on the

Shore, bringing the total arrested to 14 since the protests began.

“Officers returned to the platform around 2pm and, after deploying specialist tactics to access the area, subsequently arrested a man and woman who had been carrying out a continued protest on the rig. “They have since been safely returned to shore by boat”, the local police force said.

Greenpeace first occupied the platform during the evening of Sunday June 9th. .BP had contracted the Transocean-operated rig; it served Greenpeace with a court order to prevent Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise from joining the protest.

BP referred to “Greenpeace’s repeated interference and reckless actions directed at our lawful business and their continued illegal defiance for court orders and police action”. The company said that it issued the injunction as a precautionary measure to protect the safety of people and operations.

After Friday’s events BP said the occupation was “reckless” and that it was working with Transocean and Police Scotland to bring it to a safe conclusion. “BP supports debate, discussion and peaceful demonstration, but the irresponsible actions of this group are putting themselves and others unnecessarily at risk, while ignoring court orders and police action”, the oil company said. The vessel left Cromarty Firth.

By Monday, the 40,000 tonne Paul Loyd JNR rig was heading to the Vorlich oilfield in the North Sea, but had been forced to turn away twice over the previous two days as Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise hampered its progress.