The Greenpeace ship Esperanza is blocking the arrival of Statoil’s Transocean Spitsbergen oil rig in the Arctic by occupying the exact location where the company plans to drill the world’s northernmost well.
The move follows an earlier attempt to end the protest by Norwegian authorities, who removed seven activists from the same rig in the early hours of Thursday morning following a 48 hour occupation. All activists have now been released without charge.
Speaking from the bridge of the Esperanza, Greenpeace Arctic Campaigner Sune Scheller said: “We weren’t sure whether to continue this action after two cold days on the rig, but the public support we’ve received has been a huge boost. The Esperanza is a small ship, but we are determined to stay on top of this drilling site and stop Statoil from risking Bear Island.
This company is desperate to present an image of safety, but the world is starting to see the dangerous truth behind its fancy logo. Arctic oil drilling is risky, it is dangerous, and it must be stopped.”
Seven Greenpeace International activists were removed from Statoil’s oil rig Transocean Spitsbergen after 48 hours between 0330 and 0530 CET this morning. The activists were taken by helicopter to a police station in Tromsø but have all now been released. The activists are not under any charges.
Statoil has a permit to start some drilling operations, but cannot drill into oil bearing rock before the Norwegian Ministry of climate and environment rules on a Greenpeace complaint.