Amsterdam, Netherlands – Greenpeace has been hit with a legal claim demanding it pays Shell more than $120,000 for alleged damage caused by activists who have occupied its oil and gas platform at sea for nearly 12 days.
In a legal claim sent to the campaign group late on Friday [10 Feb.], Greenpeace is accused of having ‘unlawfully’ erected solar panels and a wind turbine on Shell’s oil platform. And the claim demands that the campaign group – which is funded by donations – pays for increased security costs associated with the protest, and for other damage that might have occurred. Lawyers are not able to provide any detail on what damage is alleged. The claim states: “The Claimants expect to recover more than £100,000” [$120,000].
It comes just 10 days after Shell posted annual profits of nearly $40bn for 2022. Based on those figures it would take Shell less than two minutes to make the minimum amount of $120,000 that is being claimed from Greenpeace. It is the equivalent of 0.0003% of Shell’s profits last year.
Greenpeace is accused of “intimidation” over its demand that Shell stop drilling, and start paying for climate loss and damage.
Yeb Saño, Greenpeace Southeast Asia executive director, said: “Shell’s sob story turns my stomach. If Shell feels intimidated or out of pocket, perhaps chief executive Wael Sawan would like to meet my colleague Virginia, who hid in her attic from rising flood waters in Typhoon Ketsana, and lost her home entirely. Or I can talk to him about the fear of losing my brother when he was missing for days during Super Typhoon Haiyan.
“If Shell is intimidated by being held to account for its decades of causing death, displacement and destruction around the world – it should buckle in. Because we are armed with hope and determination that we will make polluters pay. The only way forward for the future of humanity is for Shell and all fossil fuel companies to stop drilling and start paying.”
This legal claim comes just hours before Shell’s oil and gas platform is due to be delivered to the Norwegian port of Haugesund, where it is expected Greenpeace’s activists will be met by police, coastguard, and immigration authorities.
Activists Carlos Marcelo Bariggi Amara, from Argentina; Yakup Çetinkaya, from Turkey; Imogen Michel from the UK and Usnea Granger from the US have been occupying the company’s FPSO [floating production, storage, and offloading] platform since Tuesday January 31. On Monday February 6 they were joined by Pascal Havez from France, and Silja Zimmermann from Germany.
Shell has already attempted heavy-handed legal tactics to shut down Greenpeace’s protest, by taking out an injunction and threatening jail time and fines.
Late on the evening of Friday February 3, Shell delivered a court order granted “ex parte”, meaning Greenpeace was not given advanced notice, nor a chance to offer a defense. This undermines the fairness of the legal process.
The injunction stipulates:
- The four activists on board the oil and gas platform must seek to agree a plan with the White Marlin’s captain to safely disembark;
- The UK-flagged Sea Beaver vessel and the Dutch-flagged Arctic Sunrise and their boats must stay outside a 500-meter exclusion zone around the White Marlin ship.
Greenpeace maintains that its protest is lawful.
NOTES TO EDITORS
To interview a Greenpeace spokesperson contact:
[email protected] / +44 7870 260 213
 It would take Shell less than two minutes to make the minimum amount of $120,000 it is claiming from Greenpeace
For 2022 Shell posted profits of £32.2bn
This amounts to:
£88.2m per day
£3.6m per hour
£61,263 per minute
It is claiming at least £100,000 from Greenpeace, which last year Shell earned in less than two minutes.
 £100,000 is the equivalent of 0.0003% of Shell’s profits last year
£100,000 / £32.bn x 100 = 0.0003%
 Extract from the legal claim:
“Losses: the Claimants will claim damages for among other things: (a) damage to the
FPSO; (b) the costs of surveying the FPSO for safety in light of the Greenpeace Activists’
actions and to ascertain what damage the FPSO has sustained by these actions; (c) the
delay of the voyage and/or deployment of the FPSO; (d) the costs of increased security
including but not limited to the use of the Sovereign tug; (e) the costs of taking all
reasonable steps to investigate and deal with the matters set out above including taking
safety and legal advice; and (e) any further loss or damage.
“The Claimants expect to recover more than £100,000.”
 SHELL OIL PLATFORM PROTEST – FULL TIMELINE
Tuesday January 31. Four Greenpeace International protestors: Carlos Marcelo Bariggi Amara, from Argentina; Yakup Çetinkaya, from Turkey; Imogen Michel from the UK and Usnea Granger from the US, successfully board Shell’s oil platform in the Atlantic Ocean, north of the Canary Islands from RHIBs launched from the Arctic Sunrise ship.
Thursday February 2. Greenpeace UK stages a protest at Shell’s London headquarters, as the company announces record profits of nearly $40bn.
Friday February 3. Shell takes out an injunction against the four Greenpeace activists, threatening fines and up to two years in jail. It seeks to block further protests by including the Greenpeace UK Sea Beaver vessel in the court order.
Monday February 6. Another two activists, Pascal Havez from France, and Silja Zimmermann from Germany, successfully board the oil platform at sea; with three more activists – Nonhle Mbuthuma from South Africa; Hussein Ali Ghandour, from Lebanon; and Noa Helffer, from Italy – protesting in solidarity from Greenpeace’s Merida trimaran vessel, bearing witness.
On the same day, activists in the Philippines stage a protest at Shell’s headquarters there.
Tuesday February 7 – Shell’s lawyers ask the High Court in London to greatly broaden the existing injunction, but are largely rebuffed, despite the defendants’ admission more protest is planned.
Friday February 10: As part of the injunctions Shell has secured, damages upwards of £100,000 are being sought from Greenpeace.
Sunday February 12. Shell’s oil and gas platform is due to be delivered to the Norwegian port of Haugesund, where it is expected Greenpeace’s activists will be met by police, coastguard, and immigration authorities.