Protestor disrupts BP boss speech at London conference

22nd June 2010, Comments 0 comments

An unidentified Greenpeace protestor disrupted a speech Tuesday by a top BP executive standing in for the oil group's boss Tony Hayward at a London oil conference.

Emma Gibson repeatedly called for an "end of the age of oil" at the start of the speech by Steve Westwell, drafted in at the last minute after Hayward pulled out to deal with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

"Assembled guests -- because BP is incapable of telling you the truth, I'm going to tell you what you need to know... we need to speed up progress and make a push to end the oil age," she said.

"That means stopping the push for dangerous projects to pump out hard-to-reach oil -- like deepwater drilling and the tar sands of Canada."

In comments issued by Greenpeace, she was cited as saying: "Deepwater drilling risks disasters like the Gulf spill while tar sands means clear-cutting forests and literally cooking the ground below to produce oil."

"Politicians must make moves to spark an electric car revolution so our cars can run on clean renewable energy," she added, before being removed by security guards.

Greenpeace identified Gibson as a mother of three children who is one of its campaigners.

Hayward had been due to speak at the World National Oil Companies Congress in London alongside other leading oil bosses. But hours before the address BP said he would instead be concentrating on the Gulf of Mexico crisis.

Hayward has faced heavy criticism in the United States for PR blunders in the wake of the catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil spill, such as attending a yacht race Saturday.

BP has also faced criticism over its handling of the disaster, which was triggered by an explosion on April 20 which ripped through the leased Deepwater Horizon rig, killing 11 workers.

© 2010 AFP

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