This morning at 4 am local time, a team of Greenpeace International activists including Executive Director of Greenpeace International, Kumi Naidoo, boarded energy giant Gazprom’s Arctic oil platform Prirazlomnaya off the northern coast of Russia in the Pechora Sea, interrupting its operations.
The activists set off in three inflatable speedboats from the Greenpeace ship “Arctic Sunrise” and scaled the platform via mooring lines. Six climbers have taken up positions on the structure and claim to have interrupted the platform’s operations. The activists are out of reach and have enough supplies to last them for several days, the organization’s web site reads.
Follow the action live on Greenpeace’s web site.
Russian energy giant Gazprom looks set to begin full commercial drilling operations by early next year, becoming the first ever company to start commercial oil production in the offshore Arctic.
Before climbing up to the platform, Naidoo said:
“We climbed Gazprom’s rusting oil platform backed by over a million people who have joined a new movement to protect the Arctic. We are here on their behalf. We are also standing shoulder to shoulder with the Russian Indigenous Peoples, who just last week signed a joint statement opposing offshore oil drilling in this area, which is near their traditional territory.”
Last week Greenpeace discovered that the Gazprom platform is operating without an official oil spill response plan. Gazprom’s response plan was approved in July 2007 for a period of exactly five years. The Russian Ministry of Emergency admitted to Greenpeace in a letter that a new spill plan has been neither submitted nor approved.