Activists in six North Sea countries coordinate blockades to fossil fuel infrastructure

In an unprecedented act of coordinated international climate protest, activists from the UK, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands are taking action today in solidarity with each other against new North Sea oil and gas extraction. Under the campaign North Sea Fossil Free acts of civil disobedience are happening all around the North Sea.

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. None of the major North Sea fossil fuel-producing countries have plans to curtail drilling in alignment with the 1.5°C target, as shown in a report published this week.

Despite international climate pledges, new sites for oil and gas extraction in the North Sea are still being continuously permitted. The IPCC, UNEP and IEA are clear in their reports: expanding oil and gas production will take us far off course for our climate goals. If we continue to extract and burn fossil fuels at the current rate, our CO2 budget to stay below 1.5°C will run out in about five years. As our planet warms, so do our seas. This increases pressure on marine ecosystems, increasing the risk of extinctions. UNEP 2021 warned of the inconsistency between net zero targets and continued investments in new fossil infrastructure. The UN secretary-general António Guterres, has described investment in new fossil infrastructure at this point as “moral and economic madness”.

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.


Extinction Rebellion and Scientists Rebellion are blocking all main access roads to Shell’s Pernis refinery – the largest refinery in Europe. Shell plans to increase and expand production in the North Sea. Iit has been granted a permit for new gas drilling in the Victory Gas Field in and in April last year it resumed the Pierce Field production. At the same time, Shell is allowing the old drilling platforms and pipelines in the North Sea to rust away. These disintegrating oil and gas pipelines in the North Sea can poison the sea with mercury, radioactive lead and polonium. 


Climate activists from Ende Gelände have been blocking access to the floating LNG terminal in the industrial port of Brunsbüttel since 9am CET (10am UK). They are demanding an immediate stop to imports of liquefied natural gas. According to the latest scientific studies, liquefied natural gas is more harmful to the climate than coal. A floating LNG terminal is currently in operation in Brunsbüttel, which is to be replaced by a fixed terminal in 2026/27.


Extinction Rebellion Norway are shutting down Rafnes Petroleum Refinery. XR-activists are  on their way into the security zone with a boat. Dozens of activists are blocking the main entrance on land. Activists are refusing to move themselves and arrests are expected soon.


Check the google drive for details around early-mid afternoon.


XR Sweden are blocking the road to the Oil Harbour in Gothenburg. The group has been taking action against the harbour since May 2022.


Across Scotland, local groups are supporting the continental actions with banner drops in locations of strategic importance to the proposed development of new North Sea oil and gas. At a striking coastal location on the Moray Firth which could be devastated if there was an oil spill, XR Forres organised performances from the black-clad “oil slicks” performance troupe. Shetland Stop Rosebank dropped banners at Lerwick Harbour – the main port supporting the first phase of the proposed Rosebank oil and gas field. And in Aberdeen, the offices of Equinor and Ithaca (who own 80% and 20% of Rosebank respectively) were targeted with banners which read: “NORTH SEA FOSSIL FREE”, “STOP ROSEBANK” and “SEA KNOWS NO BORDERS.”

These countries are interconnected through the exploitation of their shared waters, while the effects of these harmful initiatives are affecting the climate far beyond this northern corner of the world. The North Sea countries are branding themselves as leading countries within the green transition, all the while allowing global companies like Equinor, Shell and Total Energies to open new oil and gas fields. Projects like the Rosebank Oil field in the UK, Deep seabed mining in Norway, and the re-opening of the Tyra II gas field in Denmark are accelerating the global climate and ecological crisis. A large part of all oil processed in the refineries in ​​​​Gothenburg harbour in Sweden, is extracted from the North Sea

Northern Europe’s oil and gas addiction is not only creating an ecological crisis in our own backyards, we are also fueling and profiting from the global climate crisis with no regard for people in the most affected areas. We acknowledge this devastating irony, and we demand:


Stop all plans to licence and financially support projects with new fossil infrastructure immediately. Align drilling plans with the Paris Agreement now!


Governments and companies must be honest about climate change. We demand honesty regarding energy security and affordability, because North Sea oil and gas will not make energy more affordable​​​​​​. Governments must stop their jobwashing of new offshore projects. There are no jobs on a dead planet.


Protect people and the environment by creating genuine and viable alternatives to fossil domination. This includes no LNG expansion, credible alternatives for workers, consideration for wildlife and letting people decide through citizens assemblies.

Jonas Kittelsen, spokesperson for XR Norway said: “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.” 

Bram Kroezen, spokesperson for XR Netherlands said: “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.” Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is presented as an alternative to continued North Sea gas extraction. However, LNG is not a cleaner fuel that will help the energy transition, in most cases, LNG is more harmful for the environment than coal. In Germany, Ende Gelände, are protesting the establishment of an LNG terminal being built along the North Sea coast. Experts have shown that the establishment of LNG infrastructure will lock us in to fossil fuel use for the coming decades.

Notes for editors:
No big North Sea fossil fuel country has plan to stop drilling in time for 1.5C goal:
Troubled Waters: How North Sea Countries Are Fueling Climate Disaster: