Activists storm Russian oil rig

2012-08-24 20:01
Greenpeace Executive Director Kumi Naidoo (bottom) shows a thumbs up as he and other activists board Gazprom’s ‘Prirazlomnaya’ Arctic oil platform somewhere off Russia north-eastern coast in the Pechora Sea. (AFP)

Greenpeace Executive Director Kumi Naidoo (bottom) shows a thumbs up as he and other activists board Gazprom’s ‘Prirazlomnaya’ Arctic oil platform somewhere off Russia north-eastern coast in the Pechora Sea. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Moscow - Six activists from Greenpeace scaled a Gazprom oil platform on Friday to protest against the Russian energy giant's Arctic drilling plans and were sprayed with icy water in an effort to chase them away, the environmental group said.

The activists, including Greenpeace's global chief Kumi Naidoo, climbed the platform at the Prirazlomnoye oil field after reaching it in inflatable speedboats from a Greenpeace ship nearby at about 04:00.

They brought several days' supplies, but after several hours clinging to the side of the rig in tents pitched on small scaffolds, they said ice-cold water was being sprayed on them from above, according to blog postings and a witness on the ship.

"The hosing is now very intense ... but we are going to stick it out as long as we can," a Greenpeace Twitter account quoted an activist as saying. Activists also reported chains dropping from above, a witness on the ship said.


Gazprom declined to comment on those reports. Earlier, the company said the activists had violated a 500-metre navigation security zone around the platform in the Pechora Sea, a southern part of the Barents Sea off Russia's north coast.

"They were invited to climb up to the platform to conduct a constructive dialogue" but refused, Gazprom said in a statement, adding that work was continuing on the platform as usual.

The Prirazlomnoye field, Russia's first Arctic offshore oil development, has been plagued by delays, cost overruns and platform construction difficulties, and crude is now expected to flow at the end of the year.

"The only way to prevent a catastrophic oil spill ... in this unique environment is to permanently ban all drilling now," Greenpeace quoted Naidoo as saying from the platform.

Vital field

Prirazlomnoye is estimated to hold reserves of 526 million barrels, and success in launching Arctic oil exploration is seen as vital to sustaining Russia's long-term status as the world's top oil producer.

But environmental campaigners say the Arctic's extreme conditions - remoteness, fragile ecosystems, darkness, sub-zero temperatures, ice and high winds - are likely to hamper emergency operations in case of an oil spill.

Greenpeace plans to promote a resolution at the UN General Assembly soon that would declare the Arctic a global sanctuary to prevent any oil drilling and unsustainable fishing there.

A similar sanctuary in Antarctica was created 20 years ago, when the mining industry was banned from operating there.

State-controlled Russian oil giant Rosneft has concluded deals in recent months with Exxon Mobil, Italy's Eni and Norway's Statoil to drill for oil in the Arctic and other areas.

BP, Shell and Total have also started or plan to start drilling for oil and gas in Arctic regions, spurred by high commodity prices and concerns about future energy security.

The Arctic is estimated to hold at least 32% of the world's undiscovered oil and gas reserves and the region is becoming more accessible as global warming melts sea ice.

Read more on:    greenpeace  |  environment

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36 publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Play with your pet when you're not at home

Many pets are alone at home during the week while their owners are at work. So what do these animals get up to while they’re home alone?



How to get rid of fleas
12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.