Direct Actions at Sea Target Drilling Rigs Headed for Arctic

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Common Dreams

Direct Actions at Sea Target Drilling Rigs Headed for Arctic

'We cannot let a reckless club of international oil companies hunt for the last drops as the ice melts away'

Greenpeace activists board a Statoil rig (Photo: Greenpeace)

Global teams of Greenpeace environmental campaigners have simultaneously staged direct actions to block two separate oil rigs headed to drill in the Arctic, the group announced Tuesday.

Early on Tuesday, 30 people occupied a rig owned by Russian energy company Gazprom while it sat in the Dutch port of Ijmuiden. According to Greenpeace, after five hours the activists were forced off the boat—which was headed to drill in the Pechora Sea. They were detained and remain under arrest.

Meanwhile, off the coast of Norway, 15 people boarded a drilling rig that is contracted by Norwegian company Statoil approximately 109 miles away from the Bear Island nature reserve. According to Greenpeace, the occupation is ongoing and is not being resisted by the rig's crew. The ship had been recently given the okay to drill in the Barents Sea after a government hiatus following a complaint from Greenpeace.

“The Arctic matters to us all, and protecting it demands a truly global response," said Greenpeace International Arctic campaigner Ben Ayliffe. "We cannot let a reckless club of international oil companies hunt for the last drops as the ice melts away."

Part of a global campaign to stop offshore drilling and unsustainable fishing in Arctic waters, these developments follow similar direct actions launched by Greenpeace, including those of the "Arctic 30" last year.

Updates and reports are being posted to Twitter:

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