The Leiv Eiriksson oil rig, shown in mid-2009, is the target of a protest over drilling safety issues.
U.K.-based Cairn Energy suspended deep-water drilling operations on a platform off the southwest coast of Greenland after Greenpeace activists boarded the rig to demand the release of the company’s unpublished oil spill response plan.
Cairn representatives insist that the company operates in a “safe and prudent manner,” and that it is the activists who risk compromising the safety of people, equipment and the Arctic environment by illegally boarding the rig. —ARK
An Arctic oil rig was forced to stop drilling by environmental activists demanding to know how its owner would respond to an oil leak on the scale of last year’s Deepwater Horizon spill.
Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy said drilling was suspended at its Leiv Eiriksson rig off the coast of Greenland after 18 Greenpeace protesters breached a restricted area. The activists launched from the Greenpeace ship Esperanza in five inflatable speedboats from outside a 500m exclusion zone set up by Danish authorities.
Campaigner Ben Ayliffe said: “Cairn Energy is hiding its oil spill response plan, so we’re going to the one place where there must be a copy of it. It’s obvious why Cairn won’t tell the world how it would clean up a BP-style oil spill here in the Arctic, and that’s because it can’t be done.