The pink ‘da Vinci arch’ blocking the entrance to the fossil fuels research centre on day 2 of the blockade (15/03)Amelia Halls/Extinction Rebellion Cambridge

Day 5 - 18/3 update

Extinction Rebellion activists dressed as gnomes and dug up the lawn at the Schlumberger research centre, as the protest entered its fifth day.

In a press release, an activist said: “Schlumberger’s work allows the destruction of land all over the world - so companies can extract more of the fossil fuels which are causing climate breakdown and destroying the planet. We acted today to disrupt this devastation.”

Extinction Rebellion describes the oil company as pioneering “some of the industry’s most harmful technologies”, including “seismic exploration deep-sea drilling, tar sands, fracking and re-fracking”.

The campaign has demanded that the University stop collaborating with Schlumberger and that they “kick them out” of Cambridge. They also demand that “Schlumberger stop profiting off planetary destruction and commit to climate reparations”.

When asked why they dressed as gnomes, one youth activist said the university’s work with Schlumberger was “beyond a joke.

“We need people to take notice and pay attention to how absurd this is.”


Mountain View

Senate House splashed with black ‘oil’ by XR activists

The campaign is part of Extinction Rebellion’s national efforts. On 9 April they are planning to block major UK oil refineries.

XR Cambridge also asked the public to sign an open letter on their website calling on the University and Schlumberger to meet their demands.

Day 3 - 16/3 update

Protests outside the Schlumberger research centre have now entered their third day.

Activists climbed onto the building’s main entrance earlier today to drop a banner saying “SCHLUMBERGER OUT!”.

Three protesters were arrested at the blockade yesterday, Extinction Rebellion Cambridge has confirmed.

A spokesperson from the group said: “Name any major oil or gas project anywhere in the world, and the chances are Schlumberger is involved. University of Cambridge scientists have for decades been warning us about the existential threat of climate and ecological breakdown - so why is the University providing Schlumberger with a place to develop its planet-killing technologies, and a steady supply of academics to develop them?”

They said that the company “represents everything that needs to end if we are to want to continue living on a habitable planet.”

They called on the University to find a “backbone” and to “cut all ties with fossil fuel planet killers like Schlumberger.”

Schlumberger has responded to the protests by accusing activists of “causing alarm” rather than engaging in “meaningful discussion with key decision-makers”.

A spokesperson for the company said they are “committed” to playing their part in fighting climate change by reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and supporting their customers to do the same, citing their “public commitment to achieving Net-Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

They went on: “In addition we created Schlumberger New Energy, developing solutions for the future that are low carbon, carbon neutral and carbon negative, which we intend to expand as part of Schlumberger’s strategic ambitions addressing climate change.”

They said they “understand and accept the right of people to peacefully protest” but that they “regret” the group’s disruption of “the normal working day of people.”

Day 2 of blockade - 15/3 update

Police have moved in and are now arresting protesters.

A spokesperson for XR Cambridge says they are expecting around ten arrests over the next few hours.

The arrests come after demonstrators built a pink “da Vinci arch” outside the entrance to the Schlumberger Gould Research Centre.

Day 1 of blockade - 14/3

Extinction Rebellion (XR) have blockaded the Schlumberger Gould Research Centre on the West Cambridge site this morning (14/03).

Activists from XR Cambridge and XR Youth Cambridge used a pink boat, a fake oil rig and metal tripods to prevent access to the main and vehicle entrances to the oilfield services company’s research centre.

Demonstrators plan to stay for a week and intend to disrupt business by preventing deliveries from entering and limiting staff and visitors from entering the building.

Schlumberger are an oilfield services company who carry out research into new fossil fuel extraction methods. Their ties to Cambridge include their occupancy of the University’s West Cambridge site and the Schlumberger Professorship of Complex Physical Systems.

XR Cambridge have released an open letter calling on the University to cut all ties with Schlumberger, demanding that they break their lease with the company and turn their building into a “climate emergency centre”.

A spokesperson for XR Cambridge accused the University of “cosying up to fossil fuel giants which are destroying our planet”, saying that the blockade is “here to stay”.

They went on: “Schlumberger profits from our unhealthy dependence on oil and gas - yet the University continues to lend it legitimacy by hosting it on University land and providing it with a ready supply of academics to help with its fossil fuel research.

“We’re here today because the University has totally abandoned its moral duty to avert disaster by cosying up to planet-killers. It’s time to kick Schlumberger out of our city and off the planet!”

The protest follows a similar XR blockade of Schlumberger’s research centre last November and comes two months after activists splashed Senate House with fake oil over the University’s ties with the company.

Varsity has contacted the University of Cambridge for comment.