Greenpeace Activists Board Shell’s Arctic-bound Oil Rig

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Photo: Greenpeace

Six Greenpeace activists have climbed aboard a Shell oil rig as it makes its way across the Pacific Ocean bound for Seattle and ultimately the Alaskan arctic.

The six activists climbed aboard the semi-submersible rig Polar Pioneer, which is loaded atop a submersible heavy lift ship. The rig was located approximately 750 miles north-west of Hawaii when the activists climbed aboard, Greenpeace said.

The boarding is in protest of Shell’s planned summer drilling campaign in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska. Last week, the United States Department of Interior upheld a 2008 lease sale in the Chukchi Sea, moving Shell a step closer to returning to oil and gas exploration in the Arctic this summer.

Greenpeace says the activists have enough supplies to last several days aboard the rig, and they will be live-tweeting the entire protest. The six activists come from the USA, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden and Austria, according to Greenpeace.

The protest was launched from the Greenpeace ship MV Esperanza, which has been tracking the rig since it left since it left Brunei Bay in Malaysia. There are 35 people aboard the Esperanza, Greenpeace said.

The rig is expected to arrive in Seattle sometime in mid-April.

The Polar Pioneer is owned by Transocean and can drill to a depth of 25,000 feet and water depths up to 1,640 feet.

A second rig for Shell, the Noble Discoverer drillship, has already departed for Alaska ahead of this summer’s anticipated drilling activities.