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Greenpeacers Climb Giant Oil Rig off Scotland to Stop Chevron Drilling Project, while Gulf Expedition Researches True Impact of BP oil disaster

Shetlands Islands, Scotland - Before dawn today Greenpeace activists occupied
a giant oil drilling ship anchored one mile off Lerwick, Scotland, to
prevent its departure to begin dangerous deep water drilling in an
ecological sensitive area known as the Atlantic Frontier. Meanwhile,
independent researchers on board the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise are
studying the extent, composition and impacts of the oil and gas that
entered the Gulf of Mexico’s deep water following the oil spill.

The Greenpeace activists used speedboats to reach the 750 foot long
Stena Carron drill ship. Having climbed up the giant rungs of the
anchor chain, Victor Rask from Sweden and Anais Schneider from Germany
are now hanging more than 16 feet above the waves in a tent suspended
by ropes from one of the three foot long rungs, rendering the ship
unable to move.  Operated by US energy giant Chevron, the Stena Carron
is due to sail for a site in the Lagavulin oil field where it plans to
drill an exploratory well in more than 1600 feet of water.

Anais and Victor have just returned from a Greenpeace expedition to
the Arctic, where they were members of the team that stopped drilling at
a controversial deep water drilling rig operated by Edinburgh-based
Cairn Energy.

Speaking this morning by satellite phone from the tent hanging from the Chevron anchor chain, 29 year old Anais said:

“It was incredible to climb up the anchor chain, the rungs were
nearly as big as I am and Chevron’s drilling ship is one of the biggest
things I’ve ever seen at sea. I’m in the tent now and we have supplies
to last through to tomorrow at least, meaning we can stop it leaving
to drill for oil in deep water. The Shetlands are so beautiful and an
oil spill here could devastate this area and the North Sea. It’s time
to go beyond oil. Our addiction is harming the climate, the natural
world and our chances of building a clean energy future.”

In the Gulf of Mexico, the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise continues a
three-month research expedition with a Texas A&M University team
on board studying the extent, composition and impacts of the oil and
gas that has entered the Gulf’s deep water following the oil spill.
Following the report released in early August by the National Incident
Command that revealed that between three and four million barrels of oil
remain in the Gulf environment, this research will make an important
contribution to increasing our understanding of the environmental
aftermath of the spill. The work will include documenting the status of
the chemical and biological aspects of the Gulf’s waters, in order to
assess the impact of the oil spill on the gulf ecosystems, gauging
dissolved oxygen levels as a tool to locate areas affected by the oil
and gas.

The Arctic Sunrise is performing transects of the Gulf in an area to
the west of the Deepwater Horizon site, south of Texas and Louisiana,
collecting water samples from depths of up to two kilometers. The ship
will also spend time close to the disaster site, where the science team
plans to take sediment samples, to find out how much oil has reached
the sea floor.


To reach the Arctic Sunrise and the researchers on board, contact Dave Walsh, Media Officer, Greenpeace, +31 20 712 2616 or Molly Dorozenski, 917-864-3724

more information about efforts to challenge Chevron’s Shetlands
Islands drilling project, contact Szabina Mozes, Greenpeace
International Communication on +31 646 16 2023

For video and
stills contact Melissa Thompson, Greenpeace International Video Desk: +
31 621 296899; John Novis, Greenpeace International Picture Desk: +44
(0) 7801 615 889


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