Home » Activists in 6 North Sea countries block access to oil infrastructure

Activists in 6 North Sea countries block access to oil infrastructure

Climate activists in six countries blocked access to North Sea oil infrastructure in a coordinated pan-European civil disobedience protest.

  • Climate activists sit on the ground, in front of a police van, blocking the main highway around Amsterdam near the former headquarters of an ING bank to protest its financing of fossil fuels, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023. (AP)

Climate activists have been blocking oil and gas terminals, refineries, and ports in Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden to protest the perpetual exploitation of North Sea fossil fuel deposits.

As Denmark is also predicted to witness such protests, Scotland activists put up banners urging to end the exploitation of North Sea oil and gas.

Earlier this week, a report by Oil Change International revealed that none of the big fossil fuel-producing countries in the region, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark, intend to halt drilling soon enough to reach the 1.5°C (2.7F) global heating target set by the Paris climate accords.

“Under the campaign North Sea Fossil Free acts of civil disobedience are happening all around the North Sea,” Extinction Rebellion, a UK-founded global environmental movement, stated.

“The governments of these six countries are permitting new fossil extraction infrastructure, harming not only the North Sea ecosystem but also committing the whole world to dangerous levels of warming,” it stressed. 

“Activists have come together today in a series of actions – unfolding across the day – to demand all North Sea oil countries align their drilling plans with the Paris agreement now,” it added. 

Read more: Global oil industry is fueling war on Gaza: The Guardian

Norway

In Norway, dozens of activists blocked the road entrance to the petroleum refinery in Rafnes, on Norway’s southeast coast, while others grappled with snowy conditions to stop tankers from docking at the facility.

A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion Norway, Jonas Kittelsen, emphasized, “I’m ashamed to be a Norwegian. Norway profits massively from aggressively expanding our oil and gas sector, causing mass suffering and death globally. My government portrays us as better than the rest of the world, which we are not.”

Netherlands

Extinction Rebellion and Scientist Rebellion took similar action in the Netherlands, closing the main access roads to Pernis refinery owned by Shell, the largest refinery in Europe as it plots to enlarge and extend its North Sea oil and gas production.

A spokesperson for XR Netherlands Bram Kroezen stated, “The fossil industry and our governments want us to believe that gas from the North Sea is clean, but clean gas is a dirty lie.”

Germany

The Ende Gelände climate protest group activists in Germany, dressed in white overalls, shut down access to the floating liquified natural gas terminal at Brunsbüttel.

Scotland and Sweden 

In Sweden, XR activists blocked the oil harbor in Gothenburg.

As for Scotland, local XR groups put up a series of banners at locations they believe have a “strategic importance” to companies planning to extend oil and gas production.

Since late last year, the UK government has provided dozens of new licenses for oil and gas exploitation off Scotland’s north-east coast.

Denmark

In Denmark, a band performed a punk concert on Esbjerg harbor with a crystal message to fossil fuel giant Total Energies. The message was that new oil and gas extraction would be deadly to humans and other species.

Four people barged into Total Energies property and climbed on top of a container, during a concert with live musicians in protest. 

Total Energies, the largest oil and gas producer in the Danish part of the North Sea, is planning on re-opening Denmark’s largest gas field Tyrafeltet, which has been under reconstruction for the last four years.