Shell today told the federal District Court in Alaska that it intends to file information about a Greenpeace occupation in Finland of two icebreakers contracted to support the company’s planned drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas during this year’s Arctic open water season. Shell has already asked the court to issue an injunction against Greenpeace, banning the environmental organization from taking physical action against Shell’s vessels, facilities and properties in a U.S. port or within offshore areas under U.S. jurisdiction.
Shell wants to present the information about the Greenpeace action in Finland as evidence supporting its case.
According to Finnish news website Yle News about 40 activists boarded the two icebreakers in Helsinki this morning. Yle reports that one or the activists said that an accident during Shell’s Arctic drilling could cause oil to leak for weeks or months.
“The drilling itself is really difficult, so the possibility of an accident is high,” the activist told Yle.
“Today, as part of its on-going global campaign to stop plaintiff’s Arctic exploration plans, Greenpeace activists in Finland have trespassed upon, boarded and now occupy two icebreakers that are essential support vessels previously identified with this court,” wrote Jeffrey Leppo, attorney for Shell, in today’s notice to the court.
In February Greenpeace protesters occupied the drillship Noble Discoverer in New Zealand in an attempt to prevent the drillship from leaving New Zealand to drill for Shell in the Alaska Chukchi Sea.