Greenpeace activists scale oil rig off northern Norway
April 29 2019 12:01 PM
Greenpeace activists stay on the Equinor oil rig near Hammerfest, Norway
Greenpeace activists stay on the Equinor oil rig near Hammerfest, Norway


Four activists from environmental pressure group Greenpeace on Monday scaled an oil rig in northern Norway to protest plans to test drill for oil in a sensitive Arctic area.

The West Hercules rig was docked near Hammerfest where it was being readied for drilling in the Barents Sea.

‘To drill after oil in the Arctic when the Arctic is melting faster than ever is madness,’ said Greenpeace Norway head Frode Pleym.

In addition to Greenpeace, Haldis Tjeldflaat Helle, deputy head of Norwegian environmentalist group Nature and Youth was at the scene.

She and Pleym issued a video clip filmed on a dinghy near the rig.

‘Just a couple of weeks ago, we had a climate strike in Norway with more than 40,000 students,’ Helle said. ‘One of their biggest demands was to stop searching for more oil.’  Greenpeace has in the past staged similar protests against test drilling in environmentally sensitive Arctic waters.

Norwegian state-controlled energy firm Equinor, formerly Statoil, has said the drilling is conducted in open waters, far from the ice edge in the Barents Sea, where cleaning up any potential oil spill would prove difficult.

The conservationist groups have also gone to court in a bid to prevent the opening of new areas in the Arctic for oil drilling.

The conservationists argued that the Norwegian government violated an article in the constitution guaranteeing the right to a healthy and viable environment.

They lost the initial case, but an appeal hearing is due in November.

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