MOSCOW, August 15 (RIA Novosti) – Greenpeace has ended a two-day protest against Rosneft’s activity in the Arctic after a research ship operated by the Russian oil company turned back to the port of Murmansk, the environmental group said Thursday.
However, Rosneft’s Academic Lazarev seismic survey vessel went back only because it needed to change crew and replenish food supplies, not due to intervention by Greenpeace, the oil company’s press service said in emailed comments.
Greenpeace’s own ship, the Arctic Sunrise, spent two days following the Rosneft ship around the Barents Sea to protest against the company’s plans for offshore drilling in Arctic.
Activists put up banners reading “Don’t Kill the Arctic” and demanded via radio that the company cease its operations, but did not directly interfere with the Rosneft ship, Greenpeace said in emailed comments.
Last year, a Greenpeace crew using mountain climbing equipment scaled an oil platform operated by state-run Gazprom Neft Shelf in the northern Pechora Sea. The activists spent hours suspended from the rig’s walls in protest of planned oil exploration there.
Rosneft and state-run natural gas monopoly Gazprom plan to drill for oil in the Arctic in joint ventures with foreign oil companies, including Statoil, Shell and ExxonMobil. Greenpeace and other environmental groups have opposed the plans, saying there are currently no technologies for cleaning up potential oil spills in the Arctic Ocean.