Six Greenpeace activists from countries across the world, US, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden and Austria used an adventurous method to protest against drilling in the Arctic for oil. Recently they had travelled on inflatable boats to reach an offshore oil rig under contract to the oil giant, Shell.
The activists have shown no intention of vacating the Polar Pioneer rig located 750 miles north of Hawaii and have made it clear that they would remain there until the planned drilling in the polar region is scrapped. They also unfurled banners atop the rig calling against stoppage of arctic drilling activities.
Shell, alarmed by the prospect of damage that could be wrought by this novel form of protest has filed papers with an Alaskan court on Tuesday, praying for an injunction from the court to cease the on-going protest by Greenpeace activists. The injunction petition condemned this protest by Greenpeace as an “illegal activity”. Shell, claimed in its petition that it could miss its deadline for drilling for oil in the Arctic, which will have direct consequences on its contract and obligations therein.
Shell may be staring at the prospect of a heavy loss in profitability and revenue since it has already spent $1 Billion in its drilling project for this year. The complaint against Greenpeace was quite frank in its appraisal as Shell claimed that the huge investment in the project and the short window within which the drilling has to start will be directly impacted by the protests as that will crumple the ability of Shell to successfully complete the 2015 drilling agenda.
The polar pioneer rig is currently stationed in international waters and therefore Greenpeace resisted Shell’s petition by claiming court’s lack of jurisdiction. Greenpeace claimed that since the boarding of the rig happened in international waters and on a Dutch-flagged vessel, named ‘The Blue Marlin, the petitioned court does not have appropriate jurisdiction to look into the matter.