Greenpeace plans second protest of Russia’s offshore oil drilling project
Rainbow Warrior set to intercept oil tanker en route to Rotterdam
Greenpeace International says one of its ships is now headed towards a Gazprom oil tanker to protest the first shipment of offshore oil produced in Russia’s Arctic waters.
Russian president Vladimir Putin announced the first shipment of oil from the state-owned energy company Gazprom April 18, marking the first-ever shipment of oil from offshore Arctic waters to Europe.
Environmental activist Peter Wilcox, who captains its Rainbow Warrior III, was setting sail from the Netherlands with plans to intercept the Gazprom tanker on its way to Rotterdam, Greenpeace said April 28.
Wilcox captained the infamous Arctic Sunrise and was one of the Arctic 30 – a group of Greenpeace activists, along with two journalists, who faced charges of hooliganism and piracy following a September 2013 protest at the site of Gazprom’s oil platform in northwest Russia.
Wilcox spent two months in a Russian jail before he and his colleagues were granted amnesty and released last December.
This will be the environmental organization’s second attempt to interfere with Russia’s Arctic oil drilling operations, although Greenpeace has not said what activists plan to do once the Rainbow Warrior reaches the Gazprom tanker.
Greenpeace argues that an oil spill from its Arctic platform could contaminate up to 60,000 kilometres of open water and 3,000 kilometres of coastline.
Gazprom’s Prirazlomnoye platform is located in an oil field about 60 km offshore from Russian and is considered the first Arctic-class ice-resistant oil platform in the world.
The Prirazlomnoye field is estimated to hold 72 million tonnes of harvestable oil. Gazprom, which began production in December, is expected to recover six million tonnes a year after 2020.