Greenpeace Declares Victory Over Shell’s Arctic Drilling

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September 17, 2012

There were a number of factors that contributed to today’s decision by Shell to pull the plug on finding oil in the Arctic waters of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas this summer. Permitting delays, heavy sea ice, the near grounding of a drillship, and a damaged containment dome delivering the fatal blow, can all be easily linked to Shell’s problems this summer. But, was Greenpeace’s anti-arctic drilling campaign one of them? Well, according to what Greenpeace claims, it was.

In a statement posted to the Greenpeace’s Making Waves blog, the organization declared Shell’s drilling halt a huge “victory for people power” and seemingly credits Shell’s decision on Greenpeace’s #SaveTheArctic social campaign and it’s two million followers.

“You did it,” Greepeace said in it’s statement. “For over six months, huge numbers of us have been pressuring Shell to stay out of the Arctic. Well this morning, company bosses announced they were scrapping their oil drilling programme for this year. It’s a huge victory for people power.”

Greenpeace goes on…

“We started six months ago in New Zealand, when Lucy Lawless climbed and occupied Shell’s Noble Discoverer rig, as it started its long journey up to drill in the Arctic.”


“When Penelope Cruz, Sir Paul McCartney and One Direction joined the growing voices calling out for Arctic protection it was obvious that this movement was going to keep growing.

“As one of the world’s biggest oil companies, Shell was set to lead the pack and spark the Arctic oil rush. But a few hours ago they admitted defeat for 2012.

“The significance of Shell stopping oil drilling is hard to overestimate. After sinking five billion dollars into its failing programme, other oil giants are now questioning the logic of Arctic drilling. Only a few days ago, the Norwegian company Statoil said it was going to wait and see how Shell gets on in the Arctic.”

Of course, whether or not Greenpeace’s actions actually had a hand in Shell’s decision is tough to tell. Of course, Greenpeace’s lawsuits couldn’t have helped at all. Also the viral video of a blown out drink fountain at a Shell launch party really couldn’t have help much either.

But, does Greenpeace really deserve full credit for this “victory”/Shell’s failure? Probably not.

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