"The Government have clearly sent the message to Shell, ‘you can do whatever you want’. Fortunately due to protest, the refinery remains unconnected to the gas field. If, as Shell planned, gas had been flowing by now, we would potentially all be dealing with a gas leak and explosion.”
At about 04:20 six activists from five different countries boarded the Nordica in Swedish waters south of Öland, scaled the ship and have locked themselves down throughout the ship. They are demanding that Shell abandons its controversial plans to drill in the fragile Arctic.
“Shell’s reckless plans to start drilling for oil in the Arctic pose an unacceptable threat to a unique place on earth,” said Greenpeace Nordic Arctic campaigner eco-toxicologist Therese Jacobson. “We are standing at a crossroads. A choice needs to be made to protect the Arctic or allow Shell and other oil greedy companies to destroy this precious region. The choice is clear, we must save the Arctic.”
Today’s interception follows a similar action earlier this week when 20 Greenpeace Nordic activists boarded the Nordica in Helsinki, Finland, as it prepared to leave to join Shell’s fleet of vessels in Alaska this summer. As the first team of activists was being arrested, 22 more activists arrived onsite in two inflatable boats and three canoes, and despite a heavy police presence and coast guard vessels in the water and helicopters overhead, swimmers managed to deploy buoys in front of the vessel and began to paint “Stop Shell” on the side of the icebreaker before being removed and arrested. The Nordica then departed port.
The Nordica is heading to Alaska to join its sister ship, the Fennica, to support the Kulluk and Noble Discoverer, the two drillships that are en route to the north coast of Alaska to drill five exploratory wells for Shell in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, respectively.
While the Arctic is already under immense pressure from climate change and pollution, Shell is the first major international oil company to make drilling in the region a serious corporate focus. If it strikes oil this summer, other global oil giants will quickly follow and spark a potentially catastrophic Arctic oil rush.
Notes to editors
The activists on board the icebreaker are from Israel, Austria, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.
Daniel Bengtsson, Greenpeace Nordic communications, +46 703 40 54 14
Jessica Wilson, Greenpeace International communications +31 65 350 4719
Greenpeace International Press Desk Hotline: +31 20 718 2470