Norway police arrest Greenpeace activists at Statoil Arctic oil rig site

29 May 2014 (Last Updated May 29th, 2014 18:30)

Norwegian energy firm Statoil has said that Greenpeace activists who boarded Transocean Spitsbergen drilling ship are now in police custody.

Transocean Spitsbergen

Norwegian energy firm Statoil has said that Greenpeace activists who boarded Transocean Spitsbergen drilling ship are now in police custody.

Greenpeace activists boarded the rig in the early hours of 27 May 2014, when it was on its way for planned exploration drilling in the Hoop area of the Barents Sea.

Statoil said the illegal action on the rig has now ended without any injuries.

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."

The rig will now prepare for transit to the drilling site for the Apollo well in the Hoop area.

Statoil's permit for drilling, however, depends on the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment's decision on a Greenpeace appeal.

Norwegian authorities opened the Hoop area for petroleum activity after an impact assessment.

"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."

The Hoop area is located in the Barents Sea, where the Norwegian oil industry has been drilling wells since the early 1980s.

Statoil, which has participated in more than 100 wells in the Barents Sea, has been accused of risking Bear Island.

The Norwegian Government has decided not to allow oil operations near the ice edge, following the difficulties of cleaning up oil in ice.

A study by the Polar Institute has found that the ice edge can appear as short as 25km from Statoil's proposed drill site.

Greenpeace has requested that Norway's Environment Minister rejects Statoil's application.


Image: Transocean Spitsbergen. Photo: courtesy of Statoil.

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