Fake BP and Shell billboards appear across Aberdeen ahead of oil conference

The posters featuring oil giants Shell and BP have been installed without permission as part of a campaign by network Brandalism.

The group says its unauthorised project aims to highlight the “exploitation of workers” while companies, such as Shell and BP, “make millions in profits through continuing fossil fuel production”.

The poster campaign in the city coincides with Offshore Energy UK’s conference on the North Sea Transition Deal taking place at P&J Live. The Brandalism network says it is is fighting for a “just transition” for oil workers that puts employees, communities and the climate before profits.

The group is a collective of artists and campaigners who hijack corporate billboard and marketing spaces with alternative artworks to challenge big brand advertising.

In Aberdeen they have chosen artwork which they say highlights the “hypocrsiy and greenwashing” of oil companies. Tona Merriman, from Brandalism, said: “A just transition requires a rapid phaseout of oil and gas and centering power in the hands of workers and communities, and it is clear that Shell and BP plan to do neither.

“Recent weeks have shown that they continue to make record profits off the backs of offshore workers and people’s bills.

“Aberdeen has long been referred to as the oil and gas capital of Europe, with the city saturated by adverts from oil companies boasting their green credentials through the language of just transition, whilst behind the scenes they continue to exploit our natural resources and their workers for profit.”

The Brandalism spokeswoman went on to say that it is the workers wo have the skills and expertise to lead the energy transition – while the “bottom line” for Shell and BP is profits.

“Offshore workers have already made demands for green jobs and an Offshore Training Passport that remain unactioned,” she added.

In response to the poster campaign, a spokeswoman from Shell said: “We welcome constructive engagement on our strategy and the energy transition. “We agree that society needs to take urgent action on climate change. Shell has clear target to become a net-zero emissions business by 2050.

“We are also deeply committed to the UK and are planning to invest between £20-25 billion in the UK energy system over the next decade – more than 75% of this will be in low and zero-carbon products and services, including offshore wind, hydrogen and electric mobility.”

Meanwhile, a spokesman from BP said: “We arrived at our net zero ambition and strategy through constructive dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders, including many challenging voices.

“We know not everyone supports our plans and want to see change now, but we’re already in action, transforming our company to help make the energy transition a reality. “BP is investing in the UK – we intend to invest up to £18 billion in the UK by 2030, with the majority going to low carbon businesses.

“This includes developing offshore wind in the North Sea off Aberdeen, making Aberdeen our global centre of excellence for offshore wind, and working with Aberdeen City Council to develop a city hydrogen hub.

“As part of these developments, BP will invest in infrastructure – in ports, harbours and ships, supporting hundreds of jobs. We will also invest in training to support both the reskilling of experienced workers and creating entry-level energy transition roles.” Police say they only investigate adverts that include offensive language.