Green Activists Shin Up Oil Rig; They Try to Halt Deepwater Drilling

Article excerpt

Byline: ED JAMES

THREE Greenpeace activists yesterday climbed up an oil rig off Greenland's coast in an attempt to stop a Scottish oil company from starting deepwater drilling in the arctic waters, the environmental group said.

Greenpeace said the activists scaled the 53,000-ton rig Leiv Eiriksson, run by Edinburgh-based oil and gas exploration and production company Cairn Energy, and are now hanging under it in a pod.

It said the activists arrived at the rig in inflatable speedboats launched from the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, which had avoided a Danish warship shadowing it for days.

The group has enough food and water to stay for 10 days in the pod, hanging a few metres from the drill-bit that would be used to strike oil, Greenpeace said.

Cairn won permission this month to drill up to seven oil exploration wells off the Arctic island's west coast.

Greenpeace has criticised Cairn, which is the only company drilling in the area, for not taking the extra precautions needed to avoid accidents such as the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Cairn confirmed activists were attempting to disrupt the rig's journey to its exploration site offshore Greenland. The company said it "seeks to operate in a safe and prudent manner" and pointed out that authorities in Greenland have established stringent operating regulations, similar to those applied in the Norwegian North Sea. …