Environmental activists have climbed on board a 27,000-ton BP oil rig being towed off the coast of Scotland, and are vowing to stay put until the company halts plans to drill new wells.
Greenpeace said its activists were occupying a gantry on one leg of the rig underneath its main deck, and had enough food for several days.
Now occupying a gantry on a leg of the rig below the main deck, the activists want to stop the drilling rig reaching the Vorlich oil field where it is believed to be trying to extract up to 30 million barrels of oil.
The campaigners urged BP to abandon all its new oil fields because of the unfolding climate crisis, which is being driven largely by Carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. If BP does not do that, Greenpeace say, it should wind down its operations, return cash to investors and go out of business. It was a Transocean rig operated by BP that caused the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Describing the protesters' actions as irresponsible for putting themselves and others at risk, BP said: "We share the protesters' concerns about the climate".
"The government may be bent on draining the North Sea of every last drop of oil but this clearly contradicts their climate commitments", said one of the activists who boarded the rig, who was identified as Jo.
Greenpeace said in a statement that a team of activists in boats drew up besides the 27,000-tonne rig as it was trying to leave Cromarty Firth.
"The perverse idea we must maximize our oil and gas reserves can not continue", she added.
BP said it was working with Transocean and the authorities to try to resolve the situation and Police Scotland said it was aware of an ongoing incident but that the situation was now within the jurisdiction of the Cromarty Firth Port Authority.
"We are working with Transocean - the rig's owner and operator - and the authorities to assess the situation and resolve it peacefully and safely". And we are working every day to advance the world's transition to a low carbon future. We support the Paris agreement.
"We are listening to concerns and would urge organisations including Greenpeace to work with us to find the innovative solutions required".
"We're reducing emissions from our own operations - down 1.7 million tonnes a year ago - improving our products to help our customers reduce their emissions, and creating new low carbon businesses".