A 12-day standoff between oil giant BP and Greenpeace ended yesterday, following news that the climate activist group’s Arctic Sunrise ship has turned away.
The BP-contracted Transocean drilling rig, the Paul B Loyd Jnr, has reached the Vorlich field drilling site.
The Dutch-flag vessel has set its course for Amsterdam, the Arctic Sunrise’s home port.
The Transocean drilling rig had been forced to abort its journey to Vorlich several times over the past week as the campaigners blocked its path with an icebreaker ship and two inflatable launches.
More than 90 workers are currently on board the Paul B Loyd Jnr rig.
The stand-off between the two organisations is understood to have cost BP in excess of £1.5 million.
A number of arrests were made by police in the Cromarty Firth where Greenpeace activists boarded the rig and attached themselves to the asset.
In one incident, authorities had to lower the rig into the water to reach protestors.
A spokesman for BP said: “Greenpeace’s irresponsible actions have put people and property unnecessarily at risk, and diverted valuable time and resources away from public services.
“We are grateful for the work carried out by Police Scotland and continue to support them. Progress to a lower carbon future will depend on coming together, understanding each other’s perspectives and working to find solutions.”
The climate group is demanding that BP cease from drilling more wells and transition to renewable energy.
BP had previously condemned the actions of Greenpeace, branding them “reckless”.
John Sauven, executive director at Greenpeace UK said: “For the past 12 days we’ve seen what one Greenpeace ship and a handful of dedicated activists can achieve in the face of a giant climate-wrecking company. But they weren’t alone.
“There’s a movement of millions calling on companies like BP to clean up their act and truly address the climate emergency.”
Police Scotland previously said it was seeking to make further arrests as it attempted to bring an end to the action.
It confirmed that it had submitted a report to the Procurator Fiscal understood to be over concerns of criminality relating to a 500 meter exclusion zone designed to protect the Transocean installation, the Paul B Loyd Jnr.
Oil and gas representative body for the North Sea, Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) described Greenpeace’s behaviour as “dangerous” and “wholly unacceptable”.