Last night Greenpeace activists climbed onto the semi-submersible drilling rig Leiv Eiriksson and fastened a survival capsule. Two people are still aboard the capsule and Cairn Energy has informed the Greenland Self Government that the drilling rig will sail onwards to the approved drilling site, Lady Franklin, offshore Atammik.
Once the drilling rig has reached its destination, a 500m safety zone will be established around the rig. Trespassers will not be allowed within the limits of the safety zone. Cairn Energy has announced that, if necessary, they will ask for police assistance to remove the activists from the drilling rig.
The Greenpeace actions are clearly illegal and a gross violation and abuse of the free right of navigation in accordance with all international maritime law. Moreover, Greenpeace is violating democratic rules in carrying out actions against legally adopted oil exploration drilling.
“The Government of Greenland denounces the Greenpeace actions against oil drilling in Greenland. In Greenland we consider Greenpeace’s actions against oil drilling as part of their eternal search for media attention and ultimately as a search for financial donations from the western world. This is cynically at the cost a less developed country’s legitimate right to economic development. Last night’s actions clearly show Greenpeace’s indifference to endangering the lives of others, as long as they get the media attention they crave for”, said Ove Karl Berthelsen, Member of Naalakkersuisut for Business and Minerals. He continued,
“We will not be stopped by Greenpeace’s actions. Like any other country, Greenland has a right to develop better living conditions for its people. It should be stressed that the drilling is being carried out in accordance with stringent requirements for safety and environmental protection. In the past days, Greenpeace has made a number of untrue allegations in the media claiming the opposite. On the basis of this, the Greenland Self-Government has issued press releases (see www.nanoq.gl), which provide the correct information about safety and environment terms and provisions; misinformation from Greenpeace must be corrected.
Government of Greenland, 3900 Nuuk, Phone: (00299) 34 50 00