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Shell sues to boot Greenpeace activists who climbed aboard oil rig bound for the Arctic to protest drilling

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Shell sues to boot Greenpeace activists who climbed aboard oil rig bound for the Arctic to protest drilling

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Shell has filed a complaint in federal court in Alaska seeking an order to remove Greenpeace activists who climbed aboard an oil rig in the Pacific

The environmental group said in a statement its team would occupy the underside of the main deck of the Polar Pioneer

The six activists are camping on the 38,000-tonne Polar Pioneer platform, which they boarded using inflatable boats from the Greenpeace vessel ‘Esperanza’

‘We made it! We’re on Shell’s platform. And we’re not alone. Everyone can help turn this into a platform for people power!’ tweeted Aliyah Field

By REUTERS and AFP and ALEXANDRA KLAUSNER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

PUBLISHED: 01:52, 8 April 2015 | UPDATED: 07:05, 8 April 2015

Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it has filed a complaint in federal court in Alaska seeking an order to remove Greenpeace activists who climbed aboard an oil rig in the Pacific Ocean bound for the Arctic on Monday in a protest against Arctic drilling.

The environmental group said in a statement its team would occupy the underside of the main deck of the Polar Pioneer, which is under contract to Shell, and plans to unfurl a banner with the names of millions of people opposed to Arctic drilling. 

The group said the activists would not interfere with the vessel’s navigation.

‘We’re here to highlight that in less than 100 days Shell is going to the Arctic to drill for oil,’ 32-year-old Johno Smith, one of the six to board the Blue Marlin, the ship carrying the rig, said in the statement.

‘Shell’s actions are exploiting the melting ice to increase a man-made disaster. Climate change is real,’ he added.

Shell said in an emailed statement that it has met with groups against oil drilling off Alaska’s shores and ‘respect their views’ but condemned the boarding.

‘We can confirm that protesters from Greenpeace have illegally boarded the Polar Pioneer, under contract to Shell, jeopardizing not only the safety of the crew on board, but the protesters themselves,’ Shell said.

The move comes just days after the U.S. Interior Department upheld a 2008 lease sale in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska, moving Shell a step closer to returning to oil and gas exploration in the Arctic since it suffered mishaps in the region in 2012.

Many environmentalists oppose offshore energy exploration in the Arctic, saying that once production begins any oil spill would be extremely difficult to clean up.

Oil industry interests say the Arctic will be important to the United States’ energy security in coming decades when output from shale formations is expected to wane.

Images published by Greenpeace showed the activists using climbing gear to move from an inflatable boat onto the Blue Marlin heavy-lift vessel towing the Pioneer, one of two drill rigs heading to the region, as it cruised some 750 miles (1,207 km) northwest of Hawaii.

The six activists planned to camp on the 38,000-tonne Polar Pioneer platform, which they boarded using inflatable boats from the Greenpeace vessel ‘Esperanza.’

The six — from the United States, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden and Austria — have supplies for several days and can communicate with the outside world, Greenpeace said.

‘We made it! We’re on Shell’s platform. And we’re not alone. Everyone can help turn this into a platform for people power!’ tweeted one of the six, Aliyah Field.

Johno Smith from New Zealand added: ‘We’re here to highlight that in less than 100 days Shell is going to the Arctic to drill for oil.

‘This pristine environment needs protecting for future generations and all life that will call it home. But instead Shell’s actions are exploiting the melting ice to increase a man-made disaster.’

A Shell spokeswoman, Kelly op de Weegh, blasted the action.

‘We can confirm that protestors from Greenpeace have illegally boarded the ‘Polar Pioneer,’ under contract to Shell, jeopardizing not only the safety of the crew on board, but the protestors themselves,’ she said on Monday.

She added: ‘Shell has met with organizations and individuals who oppose energy exploration offshore Alaska. We respect their views and value the dialogue.

‘We will not, however, condone the illegal tactics employed by Greenpeace. Nor will we allow these stunts to distract from preparations underway to execute a safe and responsible exploration program,’ she said in a statement.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3029693/Shell-seeks-remove-Greenpeace-activists-oil-rig.html#ixzz3WhaKf9d0

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