Activists from Norwegian environmental groups are targeting Wintershall Dea’s offshore drilling plans at Lofoten location in Norway.
The activists are from Natur og Ungdom (Nature and Youth), a Norwegian youth environmental organization, and Bellona, a non-profit organization.
On Monday, they decided to prevent the German oil company from drilling the Toutatis exploration well, located off the Lofoten Islands in the Norwegian Sea, by stopping the West Hercules semi-submersible rig which is scheduled to drill the well. The well location is close to a vulnerable cold-water coral reef.
The activists said on Monday they would use the Bellona vessel Kallinika to physically block the rig.
Their move to block Wintershall Dea’s operations was preceded by a decision from the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, which reaffirmed the decision by the environmental directorate allowing Wintershall Dea to drill in the area. The oil company was given a drilling permit for the well in July 2019.
According to Nature and Youth, the Institute of Marine Research, the Coastal Fisheries Team, the Seafood companies and the Lofoten Council have all advised against the drilling.
Gaute Eiterjord from Nature and Youth underlined the organization’s refusal to accept drilling in “some of our most vulnerable areas, and are ready to stop this rig by any means.”
“This is a black day for the environment,” said Bellona leader Frederic Hauge.
The organization said that the West Hercules oil rig was off the Trøndelag coast and could be on the field on Wednesday.
The block was incorporated into the Predefined Areas Allocation Scheme (APA) in 2011. The drilling license was first awarded in 2012, and later again in 2016. The well is located approximately 7.5 km north of the Trænarevet and approximately 83 km from Røst. The block borders the petroleum-free area at Røstbanken and Lofoten.
After the Environment Ministry today gave oil companies green light to drill, @Bellona_no and @NaturogUngdom
are planning to use the Bellona vessel Kallinika to physically block the rig.🛑 pic.twitter.com/0gH3raozLZ
— Bellona Europa (@Bellona_EU) October 28, 2019
Offshore Energy Today Staff
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