Shell has filed a complaint in the federal District Court in Alaska, seeking an injunction against the boarding by Greenpeace of the Polar Pioneer, the floating drilling vessel that Shell is having towed to the U.S. for use in the company's planned drilling operations in the Chukchi Sea this summer, Shell spokeswoman Megan Baldino has told Petroleum News. The complaint also seeks a ban against any similar action by Greenpeace in the future, Baldino said.
On Monday several Greenpeace activists used ropes and harnesses to climb aboard the drilling vessel in the Pacific Ocean and set up camp on the underside of the vessel's main deck. The environmental organization objects to Shell's planned exploratory drilling in the Chukchi Sea.
"These acts are far from peaceful demonstrations," Baldino said. "Boarding a moving vessel on the high seas is extremely dangerous and jeopardizes the safety of all concerned, including both the people working aboard and the protesters themselves. While we recognize the right to voice an objection to our planned Alaska exploration program, we can't condone Greenpeace's unlawful and unsafe tactics."
In anticipation of obtaining all of the permits that it requires to resume its Chukchi Sea exploration drilling program, Shell is in the process of mobilizing the various assets that it needs for the drilling operations.
- ALAN BAILEY