Yesterday in the federal District Court in Alaska Judge Sharon Gleason issued a preliminary injunction banning activist organization Greenpeace from occupying any of a list of 19 vessels that Shell plans to use for exploratory drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas during this year’s open water season. The list of vessels includes the drillship Noble Discover, the floating drilling platform the Kulluk, anchor handlers, icebreakers and oil spill response vessels, with the ban continuing until Oct. 31 and applying while the vessels are in U.S. waters and ports.
Members of Greenpeace and “all others who are in active concert or participation with Greenpeace” are banned from breaking into or trespassing on the vessels; interfering with vessel operations; preventing access to or egress from the vessels; or threatening or endangering people using the vessels, the court order says.
Judge Gleason has also banned Greenpeace activists from entering safety zones ranging from 500 to 1,000 meters around the vessels when the vessels are in transit.
Shell asked the District Court in February to issue a restraining order against Greenpeace, which has already protested against the company’s Arctic drilling plans by occupying the Noble Discoverer in New Zealand and by occupying two icebreakers in Finland that had been contracted for Shell’s operations. Gleeson responded by issuing a temporary restraining order, banning Greenpeace from trespassing on Shell’s drilling vessels. The injunction issued yesterday supersedes that restraining order.
However, the court case against Greenpeace is still continuing, with Judge Gleeson still to rule on some motions that Greenpeace has raised. Consequently, the court may at some point issue a supplemental or revised injunction, the court order says.
See story in April 8 issue, available online at 11 a.m. Friday, April 6, at www.PetroleumNews.com