UPDATE: Greenpeace Activists Arrested, Still No Response Plan in Sight

Feature story - June 4, 2011
Fourteen Greenpeace activists who boarded the giant Liev Eiriksson oil rig to ask for copy of its oil spill response plan have been arrested and flown off. Meanwhile, drilling remains suspended, as four more Greenpeace activists have taken up position in two of the rigs cranes.

Drilling Suspended: 14 Greenpeace activists have been arrested while four other activists have taken up position in two of the rigs cranes.

Just before being arrested Greenpeace oil campaigner Ben Ayliffe, radioed the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, which is just outside the 500m exclusion zone:

“We met with the drill manager and requested a copy of the oil spill plan, which we assume he has on board, but yet once again we have been refused even sight of it. What is Cairn Energy trying to hide? We have phoned, written, faxed, emailed and now even paid a visit to the rig to get a plan that should be in the public domain and should be subject to independent verification and public scrutiny.

“The reality is that even if it does exist there is no way a BP-style deep water blow out could be cleaned up in this remote and fragile environment. There is no way such a plan could provide assurances that
the environment and Greenland’s fishing industry would not be decimated and that Cairn’s investors would not lose everything."

The activists are likely to be taken to the Greenland capital of Nuuk where they can be held for up to 72 hours before going before a judge.

Andreas Bergstrom from Sweden is an Arctic guide who lives in Svalbard. He is locked securely in a crane cabin on the Leiv Eiriksson, and while he’s there with three others they are preventing the rig from re-starting drilling operations. He is in radio contact with the Esperanza and said:

“It’s going to be extremely difficult to get me out of here. There are two big locks on the door. We scaled this rig to demand the oil spill response plan but they’ve refused to even tell us if they have one. Cairn Energy are simply unable to tell the world how they’d deal with a BP-style Arctic spill, so we’re going to stay here and stop them drilling for as long as we can. While I’m in this crane cabin this beautiful fragile environment is safe from this deep water oil rig. The only guarantee of safety is for the drills to be shut down permanently.”