The Greenpeace activists who attached themselves to the anchor chain of the drilling ship Stena Carron at the back of Bressay have agreed to give up their protest tomorrow after oil firm Chevron was granted a court order.
A petition for removal and interdict was approved by the Court of Session in Edinburgh earlier today which will result in prison sentences or heavy fines being imposed on the protesters if they fail to remove themselves. The company said it needed to move the vessel because of rough seas.
Three campaigners had been occupying the survival pod which Greenpeace strapped to the chain on Wednesday, although one, Leila Deen, left to join the protest group’s vessel Esperanza yesterday and was unable to get back on due to the inclement weather conditions.
Greenpeace has claimed the Stena Carron is set to leave to begin drilling work to the west of Shetland. Chevron, however, said this week that this work is not imminent.
Ms Deen said this afternoon: “Chevron is using a legal hammer to end a peaceful protest. Our pod occupation by expert climbers is entirely safe, but Chevron wants to send this ship to sea to drill a dangerous deep water well off the Scottish coast and that’s why they’ve gone to court.
“This is all about money for them, regardless of the dangers to the Scottish coastline and the global climate. Our climbers might be forced down, but we’ll continue to bear witness to this reckless drilling operation. We have to go beyond oil and invest in clean energy technologies that won’t pollute our seas and overheat our fragile climate.”
She voiced contempt for Chevron’s claim that it sought the court order because it needed to move the ship.
“There is a huge contradiction at heart of what Chevron’s saying. They claim they need us off their anchor chain because they can’t guarantee this ship can hold its position in rough seas, but they want to use the same ship to drill for oil in even rougher seas, where a deviation of a few metres in their position risks disaster. In reality our protest was always entirely safe, while deepwater drilling is reckless and dangerous.”