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Greenpeace ends balcony protest at BP headquarters

20 May 10 14:45 GMT

A balcony protest at BP's London headquarters over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has ended with no arrests.

Two Greenpeace campaigners who unfurled a flag showing the company's logo smudged in oil and the words "British Polluters" came down unassisted.

Six others held banners as they greeted staff at a side entrance on the ground.

Oil has been spewing into the Gulf since the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig on 20 April, which killed 11 workers.

'Investment slashed'

A Greenpeace spokesman said the protesters chose to come down because they had "made their point".

He told the BBC: "This is the start of a sustained campaign and not the last they'll hear from us.

"We wanted to draw attention to the discrepancy between BP's bright green logo and the reality of operations in places like the Gulf of Mexico."

Earlier, one of the protesters, Ben Stewart, 36, from north London, said: "The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico can be traced back to decisions made in this building.

"BP has taken huge risks to pump oil from ever more remote places, while slashing investment in the clean energy projects that could actually help reduce our dependence on oil and beat climate change."

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said officers were called at 0500 BST to the building in St James's Square, central London, but made no arrests.

Earlier reports suggested the activists had gained access to the roof, but their protest did not get beyond the balcony above the front entrance.

The rig, owned and operated by Transocean, had been working on behalf of BP.

A BP spokeswoman said the company had no objections to peaceful protests as long as they did not interfere with members of staff carrying out their work.

She added: "BP is doing all it can in the Gulf of Mexico to fight the oil spill on a number of fronts - sub-sea, on the sea and at the shoreline."

BP says it has been funnelling about 3,000 barrels a day from the well to a tanker ship, using a mile-long (1.6km) tube.

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