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After Day One of Drilling, Shell Sees Pushback from Protesters, Nature

Groups build ice blockade at Shell headquarters, while rig backs down from sea ice

- Common Dreams staff

Environmental activists protested Shell's ongoing plans to drill for oil in the Arctic Tuesday, building a large ice wall outside of Shell's corporate headquarters in London. Meanwhile Shell's team in the Arctic faced a different kind of resistance -- large amounts of sea ice moved into their drill zone, rendering the day's drilling too dangerous.

Shell London HQ blocked by ice pyramid (The Guardian) Fifteen members of the activist group, Climate Justice Collective, delivered large cubes of ice to the front door of the Shell offices Tuesday morning and proceeded to build a large pyramid of ice, blocking the main entrance to the building.

No arrests were made during the action.

Video footage of the event can be seen here.

"Something needs to be done right now. Shell petroleum are responsible for drilling in the Arctic sea. They are drilling in a new area. This must stop, Shell must be held to account. This is an unprecedented disaster we are trying to minimize," one of the protesters told the Guardian.

Shell has seen a multitude of protests surrounding its plans to drill in the Arctic including a day of action organized by environmental group Greenpeace, in which protesters shut down 77 Shell gas stations across the UK, Denmark and Germany.

However, Shell's plans to drill also faced resistance from a different front this week -- nature. Shell's oil rig in the Chukchi Sea, which began exploratory drilling procedures Sunday, was forced to cease operations late Monday when a large amount of sea ice moved into the area rendering drilling too risky, even for Shell.

“What more will it take for Shell to realize that the Arctic doesn’t want them there? It’s like a bad horror movie but with a very real tragedy at its core. Shell’s ongoing failure serves as a dire warning for other oil companies and investors looking to exploit the Arctic for profit," Greenpeace stated today.

Shell said it expected to move the drill rig back in place once the ice passed, but has only until September 24 to complete any drilling they have planned.

Shell is still waiting for federal approval of its spill containment vessel before it can move beyond preperatory stages for drilling.

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