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Danish commandos 'monitoring hippies' on Arctic offshore rig

Alaska Dispatch

1339 days ago   Article ID# 1050671
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Greenpeace

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA (Alaska Dispatch) - Armed Danish commandos have (possibly) been summoned to monitor Earth-loving "hippies" clinging to the underbelly of an Arctic deepwater oil rig off the coast of Greenland, sources say.

The environmental non-governmental group Greenpeace has published statements and video showing its activists aboard two ships that are attempting to "interfere" with oil exploration going on in the Davis Strait, 100 miles west of Greenland. This business has in turn prompted the Kingdom of Denmark to launch two ships and a few helicopters to monitor the Greenpeace interference.

The Leiv Eriksson is the source of all this Arctic bait and switch. British oil company Cairn Energy is attempting to drill four wells at depths of at least 5,000 feet this summer in "iceberg-strewn sea" with the 53,000-ton offshore oil rig, which has made its way to Arctic waters after a month of failed attempts by Greenpeace to prevent its arrival.

According to The Guardian, the Danish navy has been "shadowing" the Greenpeace ship Esperanza:

The confrontation between Denmark and Greenpeace, which argues that it is dangerous to drill for oil in pristine Arctic waters, follows the decision by Scottish oil company Cairn Energy to explore for oil and gas in Baffin Sea this summer. … There were conflicting reports over whether the commandos had landed on the rig, with Greenpeace believing they had, a senior police source saying he could not confirm whether commandos were on the helicopter flights taking place between the Danish ship and the rig, and the navy denying commandos had landed.

There is disagreement over how easy (or difficult) cleaning up an Arctic oil spill would be, should one occur. The British government contends that it would be "difficult to get assistance in case of pollution problems … and near impossible to make good damage caused," according to British energy secretary Chris Huhne. Swedish geographer and Arctic researcher Rasmus Ole Rasmussen objects though, saying that "cold water and ice are very beneficial when cleaning up after an oil spill" since the oil is thicker and will consequently break down more slowly than in southerly waters -- say, for instance, in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sweden cites more than 30 years of (mostly) successful cold water drilling in Canada and Alaska, along with stricter environmental regulations in Arctic countries than in Gulf states, as reasons to exploit Arctic Ocean energy resources.

The so-called "hippies" will have their hands full, possibly with American commandoes and Alaska National Guard, if Greenpeace intends to try and thwart offshore oil drilling scheduled to begin soon off Alaska's coast in the same way the group is wading into European efforts in the Arctic. BP plans on having the offshore Liberty Field operational this year. Royal Dutch Shell is ramping up efforts to drill up to six exploratory wells over coming years in the Chukchi Sea, according to a new plan presented by the company to the Feds in mid May.

Copyright 2015 Alaska Dispatch   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1339 days ago   Article ID# 1050671

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