#Climate #Oil

Save the Arctic

For millennia people lived in the Arctic alongside some of the most elusive and majestic animals.

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Skipavika, Norway – Peaceful Greenpeace kayaktivists have today boarded the oil rig West Hercules at the Skipavika yard on the West coast of Norway. Two activists are on the rig and have requested a meeting with the Rig’s captain while 10 others are in the water with signs that say “Same shit, new wrapping”.

The rig is contracted by Statoil to drill for oil at several wells in the Barents Sea this summer and is also being challenged in the ongoing climate change case against the Norwegian Government for opening up new areas in the Arctic for oil drilling. [1] Greenpeace demands that Statoil suspends all such drilling until there is a final verdict. Nature and Youth and Greenpeace appealed the judgment of the Oslo District Court on February 5th, 2018, and it is therefore not yet final.

“The amount of oil and gas that has already been found is more than the climate can withstand, so it is pointless and dangerous to look for more. Nevertheless, Statoil is preparing for a massive oil exploration operation in the Barents Sea,” said Truls Gulowsen, head of Greenpeace Norway.

Greenpeace Norway holds four shares in Statoil and has, as a shareholder, submitted a request at the company’s annual general meeting in May that they stop exploration drilling. Greenpeace is skeptical about Statoil changing its name to “Equinor”, as the oil company had suggested recently, because it creates the illusion that Statoil is going green while still sending oil rigs north to look for new oil.

“Statoil now has an unique opportunity to show that the company’s proposal to change its name to Equinor is more than just expensive greenwashing. Whatever they call themselves, oil will still stain their name if they continue to pursue drilling in the Barents Sea and are involved in several highly controversial oil projects around the world. They must cancel plans for exploration drilling at Korpfjell and Gjøkåsen over the summer, for the climate and environmental reasons, and also because the oil wells are subject to a legal challenge,” said Gulowsen.

Korpfjell Deep is located in the northernmost area opened for oil exploration in Norway, close to the ice edge and within the vulnerable polar front. There are often many birds in the area. The bird density and vulnerability in the area means that any oil spills may cause major ecological damage in a short period of time.



[1] Background on the case of the People v Arctic Oil can be seen here.

Pictures and video will be uploaded here: http://media.greenpeace.org/collection/27MZIFJXMATVA


Aud Hegli Nordø, Communications Manager, Greenpeace Norway, +47 41470649,  aud.nordo@greenpeace.org

Greenpeace International Press Desk, +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours), pressdesk.int@greenpeace.org