Climate activists take to Northampton BP petrol station to protest North Sea drilling

Greenpeace activists take to the St James BP to protest at the drilling of new wells.
Greenpeace activists take to the St James BP to protest at the drilling of new wells.

Climate activists took placards to a Northampton petrol station forecourt as part of a campaign to stop the drilling of new wells.

Greenpeace volunteers and supporters visited BP petrol station in St James Road on Saturday as part of a series of protests against the petrol giants.

The forecourt visits being carried out by various local groups come as Greenpeace continues to block BP’s attempts to send an oil rig to drill a new well in a major North Sea oil field.

A group of climbers occupied the 27,000-tonne rig in Cromarty Firth last week, preventing it from sailing to the Vorlich oil field and accessing 30 million barrels of oil.

Since Saturday, the BP-operated rig has been engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise. The rig has been forced to perform a U-turn twice in the space of 48 hours and, as of midday yesterday, was heading back towards the shore.

Local Greenpeace coordinator Alan Heath said: "We are in a climate emergency. We already have more oil than we can afford to burn - drilling for more will cause catastrophic climate change, threatening the lives of people here in Northamptonshire and around the world.

"We’re already starting to see the likely impacts of climate change here in Northants, with flooding, soaring temperatures and declining bird and insect populations. BP say they are taking climate change seriously, but it’s all just smoke and mirrors. That’s why on Saturday I handed in a letter to the petrol station manager, asking them to pass the message on up the chain - switch to renewables, or go out of business."