The rig Songa Enabler is planned to drill further north in the Norwegian Arctic than ever before.
“This rig is heading off to sea to drill in the melting Arctic. Any new oil well is an unacceptable threat to the climate and puts people’s homes, health and families at risk. We demand that the Norwegian government and Statoil cease and desist all new operations in the Arctic,” said Truls Gulowsen, Head of Greenpeace Norway.
For the first time in 20 years the Norwegian government is opening up a new oil frontier in the Arctic, allowing state-owned Statoil and 12 other oil companies to start a exploration the Barents Sea. Statoil is leading the charge and its rig is set to drill offshore in the far north Korpfjell license this summer.
This new oil drilling in the Arctic is violating the Norwegian constitution, which says that the State shall ensure future generations the right to a safe and healthy environment. Greenpeace Nordic and Nature and Youth are set to prove this to the Oslo District Court on trial in November. So far more than 170,000 people have added their names to support the case.
“The Norwegian government has an obligation to protect people's right to a healthy environment. They know that burning oil causes climate change. They know there’s already more oil in the existing fields than we can afford to burn. Yet, they are allowing new drilling this year. It is our obligation to do what we can to stop them” said Truls Gulowsen.
The climate case against the Norwegian government has a trial set to start 13 November. This is the first court case that attempts to oppose drilling for new oil and gas in the Arctic based on the Norwegian constitution and the Paris Agreement. It is also part of a global wave of people litigating for the climate to hold governments and fossil fuel companies to account. Current cases include the a case brought forward to the Human Rights Commission in the Philippines, Our Children’s Trust case in the USA, and the “Climate Grannies” case in Switzerland.
The 13 oil companies that have new license blocks in the Barents Sea are: Statoil (Norway), Capricorn, Tullow and Centrica (UK), Chevron and ConocoPhillips (USA), DEA (Germany), Aker BP (Norway), Idemitsu (Japan), Lukoil (Russia), Lundin Petroleum (Sweden), OMV (Austria), PGNiG (Norway/ Poland).
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Truls Gulowsen, head of Greenpeace Norway, Greenpeace Norway, +47 901 07 904,
Aud Hegli Nordø, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Norway, +47 414 70 649,
Daniel Bengtsson, International Communications Coordination, Greenpeace Nordic, +46 703 300 95 10,
Greenpeace International Press Desk, , phone: +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)