Judge Sharon Gleason from the Federal District Court in Alaska has issued a preliminary injunction banning environmental organization Greenpeace from interfering with or boarding any of a list of 29 vessels that Shell plans to use in an exploration drilling program in the Chukchi Sea this summer. Included in the list are the drilling vessels Polar Pioneer and Noble Discoverer. The injunction also applies to some buoy and anchor systems, and to some aviation facilities in Barrow. The judge has also banned people associated with Greenpeace from entering specified safety zones around the vessels, and has banned Greenpeace from operating drones within the area of the Burger prospect where Shell plans to drill.
The ban on interfering with the specified vessels applies on the high seas; in the U.S. exclusive economic zone; in U.S. navigable and territorial waters; and when the vessels are located in U.S. ports.
In early April a team of Greenpeace protestors boarded the Polar Pioneer while the drilling vessel was being transported across the Pacific Ocean.
- ALAN BAILEY
See story in May 17 issue, available online Friday, May 15 at www.PetroleumNews.com