Greenpeace activists intervened in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday.
Four activists have boarded and are now "occupying" an oil tanker from oil giant Shell heading for a deposit off Scotland, the environmental organization said.
These activists approached the 51,000 tonne facility from inflatable boats before docking and climbing onto the vessel.
They held up a banner that read “Stop Drilling.
Start Paying” (Stop drilling. Start paying), according to images relayed by the NGO.
🚨 BREAKING: Greenpeace activists have OCCUPIED a Shell platform en route to the North Sea!
They have a message for the oil giant - Stop Drilling.
Shoutout to these brave activists 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/F23jSZDsJP
— Greenpeace UK (@GreenpeaceUK) January 31, 2023
The ship was then just north of the Canary Islands.
It is heading for a field in the North Sea off Scotland and is carrying an FPSO, a floating unit ensuring the production and storage of oil or natural gas extracted at sea.
"The peaceful protest is intended to highlight the global climate destruction committed by Shell and the wider fossil fuel industry, who have not paid a penny for the damage they have caused," said Greenpeace said in a statement.
“Real security concerns,” says Shell
The four activists "are now occupying the cargo of the ship", it is added.
They "have enough resources to keep the rig busy for days."
The platform could allow Shell to unblock eight new extraction wells, enough to produce up to "45,000 barrels of oil per day", deplores Greenpeace.
"We are mobilizing today because when Shell extracts fossil fuels, it causes a wave of death, destruction and displacement around the world," said Yeb Saño, an official of the NGO quoted in the press release.
“Shell and the wider fossil fuel industry are bringing the climate crisis into our homes, our families, our landscapes and our oceans.
For its part, the British-Dutch giant denounced, according to a spokesperson quoted by the Guardian, an action "which raises real concerns about safety, with a certain number of people boarding a moving ship in difficult conditions”.
At the end of 2019, Shell – which is due to publish its annual results on Thursday – had won a victory in the Scottish courts which had banned Greenpeace activists from approaching its platforms in the North Sea.