- The threat to Bear Island is not over

Nyhet - 20 juni, 2014
Statoil has announced that it has failed to find oil in its controversial Apollo well in the Arctic waters of the Barents Sea. But the threat to nearby nature reserve Bear Island is still not over, warns Greenpeace.

Greenpeace Esperanza Arctic Ship Tour 2014PICTURED:Finnish activists Rosa Gierens and Sini Saarela hang from the oil rigs structure and continue the protest under the midnight sun.SUMMARY:Greenpeace activists from eight countries continue to protest during the midnight sun on the 28th May 2014 against the Statoil contracted oil rig Transocean Spitsbergen and the company's plans to drill the northernmost well in the Norwegian Arctic. The Apollo Prospect where the drillsite lies in the Barents Sea is less than 200kms away to the Bear Island nature reserve. © Greenpeace

Although the Apollo well is dry, the threat that Statoil poses to Bear Island and the rest of the Arctic remains as real as ever. Statoil are planning to drill two more wells in this area, so we will continue to use all democratic options to stop these drillings, which are a threat to the Arctic nature and the world's climate, says Erlend Tellnes, Arctic Campaigner in Greenpeace Nordic.

Statoil's northernmost drilling in the controversial Hoop field in the Barents Sea received a lot of attention when Greenpeace in late May occupied first the oil rig, and then Statoil's exact drill site for a total of 90 hours, in a protest againt Arctic oil drilling. More than 135 000 people asked Norway's minister for climate and environment to protect nearby nature reserve Bear Island and stop Statoil's drill plans.

Statoil have licenses to drill two more wells in the same area, «Atlantis» and «Mercury», and the rig Transocean Spitsbergen is currently on its way to the «Atlantis» well. Greenpeace has lodged a complaint to this drilling, and Statoil are not allowed to start drilling into oil layers until the complaint has been decided.

The minister for climate and environment now has another chance to stop these risky drilling plans. We know that an oil spill in this area would pose a huge threat to the nature reserve Bear Island and the wildlife there. I hope Tine Sundtoft will listen to the more than 135 000 people who ask her to protect Bear Island and stop these drillings,” says Erlend Tellnes

Statoil’s reckless drive into the Arctic carries huge risks, especially if the inevitable oil spill close to the ice edge were to happen. Having spent millions of dollars drilling a dry well, Statoil’s Arctic plans are already starting to unravel and investors must be getting increasingly concerned.”

Statoil's drill plans in the Hoop area in the Barents Sea are part of Statoil's aggressive Arctic race, making Statoil the most aggressive company in the Arctic. Statoil is the only company with licenses in all Arctic states, in extreme and icy areas. As long as Statoil continue their aggressive Arctic race, we will do all we can to stop them.” 

Join the movement to protect the Arctic.

Erlend Tellnes, Arctic Campaigner in Greenpeace Nordic, +47 993 73 407
Åshild Lappegård Lahn, Communications officer in Greenpeace Norway, +47 977 10 530