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Greenpeace rig occupation enters ninth day

Tuesday, June 18: A Greenpeace protest to stop a BP oil rig from drilling in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland has just entered its ninth day.

A rolling succession of climbers from Greenpeace UK have been occupying the rig since last Sunday, with the last pair being removed by police on Friday.

Following the occupation, Greenpeace’s ship, the Arctic Sunrise, arrived on the scene and has been pursuing the rig ever since.

The rig has reached the drill site twice in the past 48 hours, but both times has been forced to do a U-turn and head back to port with the Arctic Sunrise hot on its heels. The action continues.

Greenpeace New Zealand climate campaigner, Amanda Larsson, says the activity is part of escalating global action against new oil development.

It also coincides with the arrival of a huge drill rig off the coast of Taranaki, which has been commissioned by Austrian oil giant, OMV. It’s the first time a vessel has come to do exploratory drilling in New Zealand in more than five years.

"This rig has been contracted by OMV to search for new oil and gas reserves in the middle of a climate emergency," says Larsson

"We’re seeing record-breaking heatwaves in India, Japan and California. This stuff is literally killing people right now. No one should be searching for more oil and gas - not in New Zealand or anywhere."

Both OMV and BP are on the list of 100 corporations responsible for causing more than 70% of the world’s climate emissions.

"All around the world we’re seeing people standing up to the corporations that are driving the climate crisis and the governments that have sat on their hands and allowed it to happen," Larsson says.

"New Zealand has been one of the countries at the forefront of this escalating climate movement. I think it’s safe to say we can expect more protests if fossil fuel companies like OMV insist on searching for more oil and gas that we can’t burn."

In the UK, Greenpeace have been served with an injunction as a result of the BP rig occupation. Workers on site attempted to lower the injunction via a bucket and rope to two of the climbers who were camped on the rig.

Greenpeace UK has vowed to continue taking action against the drill rig in the coming days, despite the legal threats.


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