ENVIRONMENTALIST groups including Extinction Rebellion will be protesting in Dorset this weekend against oil company, Perenco.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) groups from across the county will be marching to Poole Quay on Sunday, June 11, alongside other Dorset environment groups.

After a march to Wytch Farm on May 1, the groups will be returning to Poole Quay calling for oil company Perenco to lose its license.

It has previously been revealed that Perenco were the cause of the major oil spill in Poole Harbour, where 200 barrels of reservoir fluid was released into the water column on March 26.

Dorset Echo:

Poole Harbour is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and was extended in 2019 in order to help protect the harbour.

Greg Lambe from Extinction Rebellion Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (XR BCP) said: “If you weigh up the value of Poole Harbour in terms of its beauty, its value to local residents, its biodiversity and conservation importance, and its tourist income value, against the increasing threat that Perenco’s aging oil extraction operation poses to the above value, it’s obvious that the drilling should be stopped now”.

As reported by the Echo, Perenco have received two formal warnings from the Environment Agency in a ten-year period for incidents at its Wytch Farm facility.

This includes an incident in 2020 where 40 barrels of 28 per cent hydrochloric acid spewed into the site’s ‘moat’ storage system.

Fire crews were also recently called to Wytch Farm on June 7 due to concerns that 200 to 300ft flames could have spread to nearby trees.

Helen Nicol, a Healthcare Professional from XR BCP, said: “This local coalition of environmental activists and campaigners argue that with such a poor safety record we cannot take the risk of allowing Perenco to continue drilling in Poole Harbour.

“They demand that Perenco’s operation should have its licence revoked and be prepared to shutdown permanently now.”

Following the spill at Poole Harbour Franck Dy, Perenco UK’s Wytch Farm general manager, said: “Any spill is an extremely serious matter and a full investigation will be launched to ascertain what happened in Poole Harbour."

The demonstration is open to everyone and will include drumming band, XR BCP Rhythms and an appearance from XR Oil Slickers.

It will mark the group’s third friendly family protest and is set to begin at 12.30pm at Poole Quay.