Activists occupying a BP-contracted oil rig in the Cromarty Firth have been served with an injunction by the owner in a bid to halt a two-day standoff, Greenpeace UK has claimed.
The campaign group said contractor Transocean had served the environmental activists on board the Paul B Loyd Jr rig with an interdict, the Scottish law equivalent of an injunction.
Greenpeace claim rig workers lowered the legal papers down to two activists using a bucket and a rope.
The injunction is understood to request that those camped on the rig cease and desist from the action.
Yesterday it emerged two new environmental campaigners have now boarded the rig, bearing fresh supplies and replacing the original pair.
The first protestors had pulled alongside the platform in a boat on Sunday evening and climbed aboard before unveiling a banner declaring a climate emergency.
The new arrivals have continued the occupation of a gantry on a leg of the 27,000-tonne rig, below the main deck.
Their stated intention has been to stop the drilling rig from reaching the Vorlich oil field.
John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said yesterday: “This injunction has been taken out in an attempt to stop our action.
“BP has spent billions lobbying governments to prevent action on climate change and now they want to try to silence peaceful protest.
“But we’re in a climate emergency and they’re fuelling that.
“We have to act. Companies like BP cannot continue to drill new oil wells – their actions threaten the lives of millions and the future of our living planet.
“We won’t be gagged by a corporate injunction trying to silence us – the future of our planet is at stake.”
The rig – owned by Transocean and operated by BP – was making its way to the Vorlich field in the North Sea.
There it will be tasked with extracting up to 30 million barrels of oil.
Transocean has been contacted for comment.
Responding to the protest on Monday, a BP spokeswoman said: “In all operations, safety is our top priority.
“While we recognise the right for peaceful protest, the actions of this group are irresponsible and may put themselves and others unnecessarily at risk.
“We share the protesters’ concerns about the climate. We support the Paris agreement. And we are working every day to advance the world’s transition to a low-carbon future.”