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Oil firm goes to court over invasion of rig

An oil company has gone to court to force four Greenpeace protesters off a rig to which they have attached themselves. They climbed on to Sovereign Explorer yesterday to prevent it being towed from Cromarty Firth, near Inverness, to drill west of the Hebrides.

The Sovereign Explorer is chartered to Marathon Oil and owned by TransOcean FedCo For Ex. A Marathon spokesman said both companies were seeking an interdict to try to get the protesters removed.

Thirty other protesters have been charged with conspiracy to commit a breach of the peace.

In another protest, on Sunday, two activists chained themselves to the Jack Bates rig, which is also berthed in Cromarty Firth, as it was due to be towed out.

Greenpeace opposes drilling in the area known as the Atlantic Frontier because of its coral reefs and its importance as a whale breeding ground.