Greenpeace Arctic oil drilling protest ends after five days as sea ice record announced

Press release - 28 August, 2012
28 August 2012, Pechora Sea — Greenpeace International activists continued their peaceful protest against Gazprom's Arctic drilling platform Prirazlomnaya into a fifth day, with activists spending the night in inflatable boats, hovering between the Prirazlomnaya and the passenger vessel Anna Akhmatova.

At 5 am CET, 10 Greenpeace International activists from eight countries sprang into action to intercept the Anna Akhmatova and attempted to prevent it from mooring next to the Prirazlomnaya.

Two activists from Finland and Germany attached their inflatable to mooring lines linking the Anna Akhmatova and Prirazlomnaya but the Anna Akhmatova proceeded with the boarding anyway, winching the Greenpeace boat into the air and throwing the activists into the frigid waters below.

The Russian Coast Guard remains on standby but has yet to intervene despite several requests from the Prirazlomnaya.

Speaking from the Arctic Sunrise, Greenpeace International Director Kumi Naidoo said:

“Being here at this giant platform as the world hears that the Arctic sea ice has reached a record low is mind boggling. The arrogance of companies to knowingly forge into this region at such a precarious time in our history is staggering. This moment should be seen as a reality check for the likes of Gazprom and Shell, rather than an open invitation for them to plunder the far north.”

As scientists at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre announce that Arctic sea ice is at an all-time low, Gazprom is putting the final touches on a platform that would produce even more climate-wrecking fossil fuels.

The Arctic Sunrise plans to sail to the ice edge with a team of scientists to document the moment when the summer sea ice minimum is reached and bear witness to this disappearing world.

Naidoo continued, “Our campaign against Gazprom, Shell, and all other oil companies planning to go there, will continue, confronting reckless Arctic oil drilling and inspiring more people to join the nearly two million who have already added their voices to the call for a global sanctuary in the Arctic.”

Greenpeace began its action early Friday morning when six activists including Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo scaled the oil platform and set up occupation tents on the side. The activists again took action at 3am CET on Monday to stop the workers getting aboard to complete construction of the platform, which is scheduled to start drilling in the near future.


The Greenpeace International activists are from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Cyprus, UK, Russia, Argentina, Germany and Finland.

The National Snow and Ice Data Centre announcement can be viewed here

For more information or to arrange interviews with Kumi Naidoo, please contact:

Ben Ayliffe, Greenpeace International senior polar campaigner +44 7815 708 683

Vera Bakasheva, Greenpeace Russia head of pressdesk +7 903 219 3287

Greenpeace International Press Desk Hotline: +31 20 718 2470


Photo / video:

Dannielle Taaffe, Greenpeace Video Desk, tel: +31 634 738 790


Alex Yallop, Greenpeace International Photo Desk, tel: +31 624 94 19 65