Greenpeace Readies to Confront First Arctic Oil Shipment

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Common Dreams

Greenpeace Readies to Confront First Arctic Oil Shipment

Continuing campaign to highlight risks from Arctic plunder, group's ship will give "message to the world."

Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior seen in 2009. (Photo: Glen/cc/flickr)

Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior seen in 2009. (Photo: Glen/cc/flickr)

The first Arctic oil is making its way towards Europe, and environmental campaign group Greenpeace International announced that it is preparing to confront that shipment as part of its ongoing fight to save the Arctic.

Russian's state-owned Gazprom sent off on April 18 70,000 tons of oil from the Prirazlomnaya oil field in the Pechora Sea to Rotterdam.

The Prirazlomnaya rig is the the same one challenged last year by members of Greenpeace's "Arctic 30," who were detained and charged with hooliganism following their peaceful protest to protect the region from fossil fuel exploitation.

Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior III, captained by an Arctic 30 member, set sail Monday from Rotterdam to intercept the Arctic oil shipment, though it is unclear what kind of confrontation is planned.

"We do not disclose in advance what we are going to do, but I can assure you we will send a clear message to the world that this oil is very dangerous," campaigner Willem Wiskerke, who was aboard the Rainbow Warrior, told Agence France-Presse.

While the Arctic oil shipment was cheered by Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven writes that it should be seen as madness, and points to the need to "tackle the political dominance of the fossil fuel industry" and to "ensure future energy security by reducing our dependence on ever more extreme oil and gas sources – including from the Arctic."

Greenpeace is tracking the shipment with an interactive tool here:

The group is also providing updates on the shipment and their action on Twitter using the hashtag #NoArcticOil:

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