"Norway should not drill in the Russian Arctic"

Greenpeace protest Arctic oil drilling on the Moscow river in front of Kremlin earlier this week. Photo: Greenpeace

13,350 people signs a letter to the Norwegian Prime Minister urging him to stop Statoil’s drilling cooperation with Rosneft in the Russian Arctic.


Greenpeace Moscow collects signatures that blame Statoil in double standards and insists it should follow the same regulations in foreign countries as the company would in Norway.

Norwegian Statoil cooperates with the dirtiest Russian Rosneft company to drill in the Arctic waters. The Russian company demands huge tax privileges and has enormous ambitions in the Arctic, but is unable to implement them without foreign investments and technologies. Its activity has already turned many areas of Siberia into zones of ecological catastrophe and damaged habitats of local population.

Soft environmental and safety regulations in Russia should not be used as an opportunity for Statoil to gain profit at a lower cost than for example in Alaska, where they recently delayed their operations indefinitely. Norwegian regulations must be the minimum when operating abroad, the Greenpeace website says.

“Dear Jens Stoltenberg,

Recently Statoil has acquired licenses and has operations in many parts of the Arctic - outside Alaska, Greenland and Russia, in ice covered areas with extremely cold and stormy conditions. Oil drilling would not be permitted in any of these areas if Statoil were following the Norwegian regulations it abides to in Norway.”

The Greenpeace letter claims it is a great risk of oil spills in sensitive areas when Statoil and Rosneft drill in these extreme Arctic conditions. One of the reasons is that there is no technology that can deal with an oil spill under the ice, the organization argues.

The environmentalists’ plan state that Statoil should follow high standards not only in Norway, but also abroad. Greenpeace needs to get 55,000 signatures by the Statoil annual meeting in May, 14.