BREAKING: Greenpeace activists board and occupy Shell vessel en route to major North Sea oilfield with message: ‘STOP DRILLING. START PAYING.’

Four activists occupy ship carrying oil production platform to Shell's Penguins oil field in the North Sea to highlight the worldwide climate devastation caused by Shell


Greenpeace activists from climate-hit countries, including the UK, have boarded a Shell-contracted ship in the Atlantic Ocean with a banner bearing the message: “Stop Drilling. Start Paying”.

Action photos and video are available here. 

Just two days ahead of Shell’s profit announcement, four Greenpeace International activists boarded the White Marlin vessel in the Atlantic Ocean just north of the Canary Islands. The vessel is on its way to the Penguins field northeast of the Shetland Islands in the North Sea. The peaceful protest aims to highlight the worldwide climate devastation caused by Shell and the wider fossil fuel industry, who haven’t paid a penny towards the loss and damage they’ve caused.

At 8am [GMT] on Tuesday [JAN 31], the protesters approached the 51,000-tonne heavy-lift vessel in three boats launched from Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise ship, and used ropes to climb onto the deck.

The four activists – Carlos Marcelo Bariggi Amara, from Argentina; Yakup Çetinkaya, from Turkey; Imogen Michel from the UK and Usnea Granger from the US – are now occupying the ship’s cargo, a Shell oil and gas platform. Two other activists, Yeb Saño from the Philippines and Waya Pesik Maweru from Indonesia, attempted to join them but did not manage to board.

The platform is a key piece of production equipment that will enable Shell to unlock eight new wells in the Penguins North Sea oil and gas field. The protestors are carrying enough supplies to occupy the platform for days.

The White Marlin is carrying a floating production storage and offloading [FPSO] unit for a redevelopment project as Shell seeks to squeeze every last drop of oil from the Penguins field. The production platform is the first new manned vessel for Shell in the northern North Sea for 30 years. At peak production the project is expected to yield the equivalent of 45,000 barrels of oil per day, and Shell has suggested it could open up further areas for exploration.

Today’s protest comes just a few weeks after Wael Sawan took over as Shell’s new chief executive. And later this week, Shell will likely face further pressure as it announces its full-year profits on Thursday [FEB 2]. The company has already made eye-watering profits off the back of inflated energy prices, driven up by Putin’s war in Ukraine. 

Yeb Saño, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, who has previously acted as lead negotiator for the Philippines at global climate talks, signed up as a volunteer with Greenpeace International for the non-violent direct action, and is now on board the Arctic Sunrise. 

He said: “Shell must stop drilling and start paying. We’re taking action today because when Shell extracts fossil fuels it causes a ripple of death, destruction and displacement around the world, having the worst impact on people who are least to blame for the climate crisis.

“Shell and the wider fossil fuel industry are bringing the climate crisis into our homes, our families, our landscapes and oceans.

“So we will take them on at sea, at shareholder meetings, in the courtroom, online and at their headquarters. We won’t stop until we get climate justice. We will make polluters pay.

“They must take accountability for decades of profiting from climate injustice, and pay for the loss and damage they’ve caused. We need a just transition towards cheap, clean, renewable energy in a way that benefits communities, workers and the climate. ”



Photos and video available from the Greenpeace Media Library

To interview a Greenpeace UK spokesperson, please contact Jasmine Watkiss, Greenpeace UK press officer: + 44 7796 947448, 

To interview an activist, please contact Emily Davies, Greenpeace UK press officer: +44 7870 260 213, 

Activist Country Languages spoken
Yeb Saño Philippines Filipino/Tagalog, English, Visayan
Yakup Çetinkaya Turkey Turkish, English, German, Spanish
Waya Pesik Maweru Indonesia Bahasa Indonesia & English
Carlos Marcelo Bariggi Amara Argentina Spanish, English
Usnea Granger US English
Imogen Michel UK (Scotland) English


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