Environmentalists Ring Norway's Oil Rig in Barents Sea, Protest Extraction

Claudine Rigal
Août 18, 2017

Protesting the drilling at the Korpfjell field on Thursday, Greenpeace activists entered the 500-metre safety zone around the rig Songa Enabler with kayaks and a floating globe with signatures from people all over the world demanding an end to the ongoing drilling, Xinhua news agency reported. "With one hand, the government have signed the Paris Agreement and profiled themselves as an environmental champion, whilst handing out hundreds of new oil blocks in the Arctic with the other", Greenpeace Norway Arctic campaigner Erlend Tellnes said.

Truls Gulowsen, head of Greenpeace Norway, disputed the Coast Guard's right to board the ship and urged Norwegian authorities to be more anxious about climate change. "Protest at sea is an internationally recognized lawful use of the sea, related to the freedom of navigation", he told The Independent Barents Observer. The Norwegian government can not unjustifiably interfere with that right.”.

Norwegian coast guards stopped Greenpeace from protesting at a site of the country's northernmost exploration well drilled by Statoil, the environmentalist group said on August 17.

The oil field in the Barents is the most northern at which Norway engages in drilling, at 74 degrees latitude.

The ship was demonstrating at a rig owned by Norwegian oil multinational Statoil located in the Barents Sea, reports The Independent Barents Observer.

Oslo licensed state-owned Statoil for oil extraction in Korpfjell in June 2016, thus opening the first oil drilling site in two decades.

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