Shell quits Arctic drilling

Successful Campaign against Shell Arctic drilling began with Lucy Lawless in New Zealand

Press release - September 29, 2015
Shell announced today that it is retreating from its failed Arctic drilling programme (1).

The campaign against Shell’s Arctic oil rush began in New Zealand in February 2012 when Actor Lucy Lawless and 7 other activists occupied the drillship Noble Discoverer in New Plymouth port.  

Since then a multi million strong movement against the drilling has formed.  

“Big oil has sustained an unmitigated defeat. They had a budget of billions, we had a movement of millions. For three years we faced them down, and the people won,” said Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven.

Lawless, who has also been active in the campaign for action on climate change, reacted that, “Shell pulling out of the Arctic is a huge win for arctic fauna and people and indeed for all life on the planet. I look forward to the day when fossil fuel companies become Clean Energy companies.  We need them to evolve so that our children can thrive.”

In April this year another kiwi activist Johno Smith was part of the mid pacific occupation of another Shell drilling rig and celebrated today’s news with a facebook post, “YEAH BOY!! Shell is Pulling Out of the Arctic.. 7 billion dollars wasted.. Not one drop of oil.”

Greenpeace activists in Portland also blocked Shell’s effort to depart for the arctic a few weeks ago.

Shell still has plans to drill for deep sea oil in the Great South Basin of New Zealand this coming summer.

"Shell’s Arctic drilling has failed because it's too risky, too expensive and there is too much public opposition. It's high-time for Shell, Statoil and other deep sea drillers to quit New Zealand too. Climate action means we’ve got to leave that oil right where it is - under the sea floor," said Greenpeace NZ climate and energy spokesperson Steve Abel.

(1) Shell's announcement