New action to stop Arctic oil

Activists trying to stop the supply vessel "Anna Akhmatova" with oil-crew members to Prirazlomnaya. Photo: Greenpeace

Greenpeace activists Monday morning chained themselves to the anchor of a vessel bringing crew to the Prirazlomnaya oil platform in a second attempt to hinder Russia’s Arctic oil exploration.


14 activists have intercepted the supply vessel “Anna Akhmatova” as it prepared to drop off workers to the oil platform in the Pechora Sea. The activists come from the Greenpeace vessel “Arctic Sunrise” and are using high-speed Zodiacs to stop the Russian supply vessel.

One of the Zodiacs flipped was flipped over by water cannons, but the activists went over in another high-speed boat, Greenpeace reports via Twitter from the Pechora Sea.

A Russian Coast Guard vessel is on standby near the oil platform and a helicopter is in the area.

This is the second attempt in three days by the environmental organization to occupy the remote located oil drilling. On Friday, six activists stayed onboard the Prirazlomnaya for 15 hours before being forced to leave after sprayed with ice-cold water by the onboard oil-workers.    

Prirazlomnaya, operated by Gazprom, is Russia’s first offshore oil-field in the Arctic. The production has been delayed several times, but is expected to start soon.

Greenpeace argues the drilling is dangerous saying an accident could lead to serious, long-term pollution of the fragile Arctic region. The Pechora Sea is the eastern part of the Barents Sea south of Novaya Zemlya.

Also, the group says that Gazprom’s oil spill response plan expired in July, making any drilling the company undertakes in the Arctic illegal until a new one is submitted and approved.