CLIMATE activists have boarded a vessel carrying a floating oil and gas platform to a field in the North Sea.

Four people from Greenpeace International climbed onto the White Marlin vessel in the Atlantic Ocean just north of the Canary Islands at 8am on Tuesday morning.

The protesters approached the heavy-lift ship, which is carrying a floating platform on its way to the Penguins field northeast of Shetland, in three boats and used ropes to climb onto the deck.

They claim to have enough supplies to occupy the platform for days.

The production platform is the first new manned vessel for Shell in the northern North Sea for 30 years.

In total, the Penguins redevelopment is expected to unlock 80 million barrels of oil in its lifetime.

In 2018, Shell said the project would provide around 400 jobs with the majority based in Scotland.

The National: Greenpeace activists heading towards a vessel carrying a floating oil and gas platform owned by ShellGreenpeace activists heading towards a vessel carrying a floating oil and gas platform owned by Shell (Image: Greenpeace)

Yeb Sano, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, 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.”

It comes as Shell prepares to announce their full-year profits on February 2, with the company expected to announce a record £30 billion in profit.

The company says it will pay around £1.6bn of windfall taxes to the UK and European Union. 

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A Shell spokesperson said: “These actions are causing real safety concerns, with a number of people boarding a moving vessel in rough conditions. We respect the right of everyone to express their point of view. It’s essential they do that with their safety and that of others in mind.

"Households, motorists and businesses need a stable supply of oil and gas, which remain a key part of the UK energy mix as we build more renewable power. Projects like Penguins are vital to that supply and help reduce the UK’s reliance on higher carbon and costlier energy imports.

"Locally-produced, responsible oil and gas production is critical for UK energy security and entirely consistent with a net zero pathway as modelled by the UK’s independent Climate Change Committee.

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“After decades of supplying oil and gas, output from the UK North Sea is tailing off and now meets less than 50% of the UK’s demand. It is important to stop it tailing off too steeply, while the transition to low-carbon energy gathers pace.

"The new floating vessel will allow production from the Penguins field to continue to provide the necessary energy that the UK needs. It is not a new field, but one which has already been producing oil and gas for 20 years.

“We plan to invest up to £25 billion in the UK energy system over the next decade, providing individual projects remain economically viable under the revised tax regime, and subject to Board approval. More than 75% of this is intended for low and zero-carbon technology, including offshore wind, hydrogen and electric mobility.”