Oil giant Shell is suing Greenpeace for $2.1 million after activists boarded a ship transporting a platform to the North Sea in January. “The legal costs to secure two court injunctions to prevent further boarding were significant. So were the costs for the companies who had to deal with the action at sea, for example by mobilizing an extra safety vessel and increasing security at the port,” a Shell
spokesman said in a statement to MarketWatch.
“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,” the spokesperson added. Greenpeace has reportedly called it the “biggest legal threat” in its 50-year history. The lawsuit stems from an incident earlier this year when four of the organization’s protesters boarded the White Marlin ship near the Canary Islands and stayed on board for 13 days until it reached Norway. The ship was transporting a platform to the company’s Penguins oilfields in the North Sea. Shell got an injunction at the time to keep more protesters from reaching the ship. Greenpeace reportedly said Shell presented it with a deal to lower the claim to $1.4 million if its activists would steer clear of the oil giant at port or sea. The environmental group said it would do that if Shell adhered to a 2021 order by a Dutch court to drop its emissions 45% by 2030, a decision that the oil group has appealed. MarketWatch has reached out to Greenpeace for comment.