Greenpeace protesters board Shell rig bound for Shetland | green peace

Greenpeace protesters boarded a floating Shell oil rig which is being transported more than 12,000 nautical miles to the Shetland Islands with signs demanding the fossil fuel giant ‘Stop drilling – start paying’ .

The four activists from the UK, Turkey, US and Argentina boarded the 52,000 tonne heavy lift vessel just north of the Canary Islands on Tuesday morning and displayed a banner from the platform in what he called a peaceful protest against the global climate devastation “caused by Shell and the fossil fuel industry at large, without paying a penny for loss and damage”.

Protesters reached the heavy lift ship in three boats launched from Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise vessel and used ropes to climb onto the deck. They then occupied the platform, which is carried at the rear of the ship.

Yeb Saño, executive director of Greenpeace and former lead climate negotiator for the Philippines, failed to board the platform. He said: “We are acting today because when Shell extracts fossil fuels it causes a wave of death, destruction and displacement around the world, which has the worst impact on those least responsible for the crisis. climatic.

The platform will allow Shell, which is expected to unveil adjusted annual profits of around $83bn (£67bn) later this week, to continue to exploit the Penguins oil and gas field, located 240 km off the Shetland Islands. Greenpeace says it will be used to unlock eight new wells on the ground.

The platform could also be involved in the production of new oil and gas from a nearby untapped reservoir, which is being drilled by Shell. The company, headquartered in London, has describe the redevelopment of the Penguins field as an “attractive opportunity”, which it says will produce 45,000 barrels of oil or gas equivalent every day at its peak.

Shell said the protest was a security concern. “These actions pose real safety concerns, with a number of people boarding a moving vessel in difficult conditions. We respect everyone’s right to express their views. It is essential that they do so with the their safety and the safety of others,” a spokesperson said.

The company added that oil and gas production was declining too rapidly in the North Sea. “It is important to prevent it from running out of steam as the transition to low-carbon energy accelerates. The new floating vessel will allow production from the Penguins field to continue to supply the necessary energy that the UK needs,” a spokesperson said.

Greenpeace activists before boarding and occupying the Shell platform.
Greenpeace activists before boarding and occupying the Shell platform. Photography: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Greenpeace

Shell said the project was in line with net zero lanes and would help reduce the UK’s reliance on expensive and higher carbon imports. He said this was an old area – not new and added that 75% of the £25billion he planned to invest in Britain’s energy system over the next decade was for low and zero carbon technologies, including offshore wind, hydrogen and electric mobility.

Greenpeace has calculated that burning all the gas and oil from the Penguins field could create 45 million tonnes of CO2, more than Norway’s entire annual emissions.

The International Energy Agency has called for no additional investment in fossil fuel projects, with agency research showing there is no room for new oil and gas if the world’s energy systems are going to reach net zero by 2050. The program United Nations Environmental found that current global fossil fuel production plans would lead to 57% more oil and 71% more gas than is safe to hold warming to 1.5°C.

Greenpeace activists at sunrise prepare to board a Shell oil rig.
Greenpeace activists at sunrise prepare to board a Shell oil rig. Photograph: Getty Images

However, the UK government says further exploration is needed as the country remains heavily dependent on fossil fuels and production is declining in the North Sea. Ministers also said new supplies are essential for energy security. The latest government-sanctioned license round for offshore oil and gas attracted more than 100 bids from 76 companies in January. There are already 27 licensed oil and gas projects, including the Cambo oilfield, awaiting final approval. Eight other projects, including Shell’s Jackdaw project, are ready to start producing gas and oil.

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