Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
by Staff Writers
Oslo (AFP) May 30, 2014
Norway said Friday it had created a "safety zone" around the Arctic drilling site where Greenpeace is trying to prevent oil explorations.
The zone, which stretches for 500 metres (1,640 feet) around the site, has been created in order to force the departure of the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, which is currently there.
The environmental group is trying to prevent Statoil from operating the northernmost well ever to be drilled in Norway.
"The vessels that are not involved in the oil activities of the operator do not have access to this area," petroleum and energy ministry spokesman Haakon Smith-Isaksen said.
But Greenpeace questioned the legality of the zone arguing that it should have been created with a 30-day notice period.
Greenpeace activist Truls Gulowsen told AFP that those on the ship "intend to stay" at least until June 28, the day a 30-day notice period would expire.
"We don't see any reason to move the Esperanza, which has the same right to be on this spot as an oil rig. We even got here first, which according to international law, allows us to stay," he said.
Greenpeace argues that the drilling project in the Hoop area of the Barents Sea is too close to the sea ice and to Bear Island 175 kilometres (109 miles) away, which is home to rare birds and, sometimes, polar bears.
A group of 15 Greenpeace activists boarded the Statoil rig earlier this week and tried to stop the drilling.
The last seven who remained on the ship were removed by Norwegian police on Thursday.
Also on Friday, the Norwegian ministry of climate and environment rejected a Greenpeace appeal asking the government to protect Bear Island and ban drilling in the area.
"We are ready to start the drilling operations as soon as everything will be in place," Statoil spokesman Morten Eek said.
Beyond the Ice Age
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|