Both the UK and Scottish governments have been strangely silent on the highly dangerous game of cat and mouse being played out in the North Sea between an offshore giant and activists from Greenpeace.
The environment campaigners have so far successfully thwarted BP’s attempts to tow a drilling rig to the Vorlich field, and the company can be forgiven for thinking it has been abandoned by the authorities.
And the longer the situation is allowed to persist, the more oil and gas firms
operating on the UK Continental Shelf will start to look like soft targets.
There is of course a growing clamour for urgent action to arrest climate change, and indeed many companies which have traditionally focused on fossil fuels are increasingly turning their attention to renewables as part of an industry-wide recognition that the future of energy is green.
The reality, however, is that we can’t switch to wind, tidal and solar power overnight, and oil and gas are still an important part of the mix we need to keep the lights burning across the nation.
BP is not acting illegally, and it will be up to the courts to decide whether Greenpeace has – but in the meantime governments on both sides of the border should be clear they will not allow what remains a lifeblood industry to be stopped from going about its legitimate business.