Greenpeace activists approach Equinor oil rig near Hammerfest, Norway, on April 29 2019. Picture: REUTERS/JONNE SIPPOLA/GREENPEACE HANDOUT
Greenpeace activists approach Equinor oil rig near Hammerfest, Norway, on April 29 2019. Picture: REUTERS/JONNE SIPPOLA/GREENPEACE HANDOUT

Oslo — Greenpeace activists on Monday climbed aboard a Seadrill drilling rig commissioned by Equinor in protest against oil and gas drilling in the Norwegian Arctic, the group told Reuters.

Four activists climbed aboard the West Hercules rig, the organisation said. The vessel is anchored off Hammerfest, continental Europe’s northernmost town and the site of an Equinor liquefied natural gas plant, Snoehvit.

“We clearly are in the middle of a climate crisis that cannot take any new oil, so we must show our resistance in any way we can,” said Frode Pleym, the head of Greenpeace Norway.

The activists are from Norway, Sweden and Denmark and carried a banner that said “Stop Drilling in the Arctic” in Norwegian.

The rig is due to drill a well in the Equinor-operated production licence 859 in the eastern part of the Barents Sea, about 435km northeast of the coast of continental Norway.

The rig is due to begin its contract with multinational energy company Equinor in the coming days, and drilling operations are scheduled to start in early May, a company spokesperson said, declining to give the precise start date or how that may be affected by the protest.

“The rig owners are following this up,” he added, referring to the Greenpeace protest.

Seadrill was not immediately available for comment.

Equinor’s partners in the licence are DNO, Petoro, Lundin Petroleum and ConocoPhillips. Norway is western Europe’s largest oil producer and Europe’s second-largest gas supplier after Russia. 

Reuters