"Oil on Greenland would be a disaster."
"Energy companies should not drill for crude in Arctic waters."
"The risk of an oil spill in such an environmentally sensitive area is simply too high."
Sounds familiar? Today, it’s not Greenpeace saying this – it’s a major oil company.
Total has warned today in a Financial Times article against drilling for oil in the Arctic. The dangers of Arctic oil are nothing new – that’s exactly what we’ve been saying for a long time now – but this is the first time a major oil company says the same.
When an oil baron warns against Arctic drilling the world should sit up and take notice. Total admitting that an oil spill in the ice would be devastating flies in the face of the bland reassurances from the likes of Shell and Gazprom that they can operate safely in the most extreme environment on Earth.
Some cynical people might say that Total should know what kind of effect a major oil spill has on your company’s reputation – they were handed a massive fine just yesterday by a French court for the Erika oil disaster. However, this is simply a case of a company coming to its senses, and realizing some risks are not worth taking.
Almost 2 million people have said no to Arctic drilling already. A major oil company might be a strange bedfellow – but this is simply common sense.