Oil companies out of the deep seas!

Greenpeace backs EU energy Commissioner’s call for a moratorium on offshore drilling

Press release - July 14, 2010
Brussels, International — Oil-smudged Greenpeace activists awaited the arrival in Brussels of 18 CEOs from some of the world’s biggest oil companies for a meeting today with EU energy commissioner Günther Oettinger and environment commissioner Janez Potočnik to discuss the future of offshore drilling in Europe. The activists held up banners reading “STOP DEEP-SEA DRILLING” and called on oil companies to withdraw from deep-sea regions where oil spills cannot be controlled.

Oil-smudged Greenpeace activists await the arrival of 18 CEOs from some of the world’s biggest oil companies for a meeting with the European Commission in Brussels.

Greenpeace supports commissioner Oettinger's proposal voiced last week to

introduce a de facto moratorium on deep-sea drilling in European waters until investigations into the causes of BP's spill in the Gulf of Mexico have been completed and regulations adapted to take account of risks. The Commission, representatives of oil and gas companies, and national surveillance authorities are meeting to ensure that EU regulations are adequate and that companies are not cutting corners on safety.

Christoph von Lieven, oil expert at Greenpeace said: "With the oil still

gushing out of the seabed, companies like BP are continuing plans to explore deep-sea regions as if nothing happened. The consequences of a BP-style event in areas like the Mediterranean, the North Sea or the Arctic would be catastrophic. It's a miracle that there haven't been other big accidents in recent years. All oil companies must immediately stop dangerous deep-sea drilling. It's time to end the oil addiction and recognise that offshore drilling poses unacceptable risks."

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has shown that deep-sea oil drilling is dangerous and that technical, environmental and financial risks cannot be managed. Twelve weeks after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill started, BP has still been unable to stop the leak, one of the biggest environmental disasters in US history.

Greenpeace calls on the EU to:

• Ban all deep-sea drilling in EU waters and prevent imports of high-risk unconventional oil sources;

• Adopt comprehensive EU policies to reduce European oil demand, including robust efficiency standards for cars, vans and lorries;

• Develop a vision for a fully renewable energy system by 2050 and put a robust price on carbon by committing unconditionally to a cut in greenhouse gas emissions for the EU of at least 30% by 2020.

Other contacts:

In Brussels:
Christoph von Lieven – Greenpeace oil expert: +49 171 8780 802
Jona de Leye – Greenpeace press office: +32 496 26 31 91

In Germany:
Patric Salize – Greenpeace press office: +49 171 8780 828

More detailed information is available at: www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/climate-change/Deepwater-horizon(English)
www.greenpeace.de/oel (German)