BP said today that most of the forecourts targetted by Greenpeace activists yesterday had been able to
reopen. Greenpeace yesterday stopped dozens of sites in London from selling fuel while putting up signs which stated ’Closed. Moving beyond petroleum’. In a statement on it website, Greenpeace said:
"50 stations have been immobilised by small teams which used a shut-off switch to stop the flow of fuel at each location. The switches were then safely removed and taken away to prevent the stations from re-opening". At one station in Camden, North London, they replaced BP’s logo with a new version showing the green sunflower disappearing into a sea of oil.
The move, described as "vandalism" by BP, coincided with the oil company revealing a $17bn loss for the second quarter and announcing that Bob Dudley would take over from Tony Haywood as CEO.
Greenpeace urged Dudley, who it said once worked at BP’s solar and wind business, "to take the company in a new direction after his predecessor’s obsession with high risk, environmentally reckless sources of oil". Greenpeace executive director John Sauven said: "The moment has come for BP to move beyond oil. Under Tony Hayward the company went backwards, squeezing the last drops of oil from places like the Gulf of Mexico, the tar sands of Canada and even the fragile Arctic wilderness.
"We’ve shut down all of BP’s stations in London to give the new boss a chance to come up with a better plan. They’re desperate for us to believe they’re going ‘beyond petroleum’. Well now’s the time to prove it."
This morning a BP spokesman put the number of affected sites at 40, and said that most had been reopened. The company added the action was "an act of vandalism which clearly puts the safety of motorists and staff at the sites at risk".
It said that one of the sites affected was used to supply ambulances with fuel.
It added: "The action shows a total disregard for the safety of motorists and staff at the sites."
• What the activists did: According to BP, they dropped off a letter at the site and on the way out they activiated the Fireman’s Emergency Cut Off Switch which isolates power to the forecourt. This is sited on the outside of the building. They then removed the handle so that the switch could not be reactivated.