Norwegian authorities arrest Greenpeace activists at Statoil’s Arctic well

Image: Greenpeace

Norwegian authorities have stopped a protest by Greenpeace against Statoil’s drilling activities in the Barents Sea offshore Norway, seizing the organization’s ship and arresting 35 activists and crew on board. 

Greenpeace activists on Thursday entered a 500-meter safety exclusion zone of Statoil’s drilling rig Songa Enabler in the Barents Sea, demanding an end to the drilling in the Arctic.

Greenpeace claimed it halted the operation of the rig and, after several hours, the Norwegian Coast Guard arrested the Arctic Sunrise ship, the activists and crew members.

According to the organization’s statement late on Thursday, the ship was being towed away from the drilling site to the mainland in Tromsö, Northern Norway.

Statoil is using the Songa Offshore-owned Cat D drilling rig Songa Enabler to drill the Korpfjell well in production license 859, which was awarded in the 23rd licensing round in 2016. As such, Greenpeace alleged, the license is subject to a lawsuit filed together Nature & Youth last October and scheduled for hearing in November.

The drilling site is in the northern sector of the Barents Sea South-East area, 37 kilometers from the Russian boundary and 415 kilometers from the Norwegian mainland. Water depth at the site is 253 meters.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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