Shell abandons 2013 Arctic drilling: Timeline of Greenpeace’s Shell campaign

by Cassady Craighill

February 27, 2013

The Shell conical drilling unit Kulluk sits aground on the southeast shore of Sitkalidak Island about 40 miles southwest of Kodiak City, Alaska, in 40 mph winds and 20-foot seas January 1, 2013. The Kulluk grounded following many efforts by tug and Coast Guard crews to tow the vessel to a safe harbor when it was beset by winter storm weather during a tow from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, to Everett, Wash.

© The United States Coast Guard

For those of you who missed any of the drama from Shell’s season in the Arctic, the finale revealed-SPOILER ALERT-that 2013 Arctic drilling is a no go. While Greenpeace welcomes this news with a “hip hip hooray”, it’s not a huge shocker when looking back at a year of Shell’s mishaps. Greenpeace will continue to campaign for the Arctic Council and President Obama to establish the Arctic as a refuge, safe from drilling from any company.

Catch up below on all the drama from #Shellfail.


Greenpeace activists join actress Lucy Lawless as they climb Shell’s drilling rig the Noble Discoverer, or as Lawless calls it “an aging rust bucket, calling attention to Greenpeace’s Save the Arctic campaign.

MARCH 2012

Shell is granted a legal injunction from Greenpeace as result of our February action that will stay in place until October 2012, and Shell sends its fleet of Arctic destroyers to the top of the world.

APRIL 2012

London insurance form calls Shell’s spill response planunique and hard-to-manage risk to the fragile ecosystem.

JUNE 2012

Greenpeace teams up with the Yes Men to spoof the ludicrous Arctic drilling plan with “Arctic Ready”, a giant Internet hoax.

JULY 2012

US authorities announced that a key part of Shellsoil spill response fleethadnt been allowed to sail to the Arctic because it did not meet US Coast Guard safety standards.

On 15 July Shells drill ship, theNoble Discoverer, ran aground in the sheltered and relatively calm Dutch Harbour, Alaska, in a 35mph wind.


Shell announces it’s retreating from the Arctic and will try again in 2013.


Arctic sea ice melt reported larger than US, according to UN weather agency.

In November the engine of the drill ship, theNoble Discoverer,caught fireas it returned to Dutch Harbour, Alaska, and had to be put out by specialist fire crews.


Shell’s oil rig, theKulluk,ran aground off the coast of Alaska while being towed back to harbour in Seattle.


Shell announces it will not drill in 2013.

Tell President Obama to make Arctic drilling off limits for good.

Cassady Craighill

By Cassady Craighill

Cassady is a media officer for Greenpeace USA based on the East Coast. She covers climate change and energy, particularly how both issues relate to the Trump administration.

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