San Francisco: Over the weekend Greenpeace’s six activists opposed to offshore drilling in the Arctic abandoned a drill rig they boarded in the Pacific Ocean at the start of the week. The activists cited bad weather as the reason to leave the rig. They rappelled off the potentially Arctic-bound structure into inflatable boats waiting alongside and were taken back to a Greenpeace vessel (pictured) trailing the rig.
The six had climbed the Shell-chartered Polar Pioneer about 750 miles northwest of Hawaii on Monday while it was being transported on the Blue Marlin heavylift ship to Seattle ahead of potential deployment in the Arctic.
Meanwhile, the federal government began a review process Friday on Royal Dutch Shell’s plans to continue a drilling program it halted in 2012 in Arctic waters off Alaska’s northern shore.
Shell wants to restart its drilling program in the Chukchi Sea, including drilling six wells in about 140 ft of water, located about 125 miles west of Barrow.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has 30 days to analyze Shell’s exploration plan to determine if the company can move forward. The public will have until April 20 to comment on environmental aspects and until May 1 to comment on the overall revised plan submitted by Shell.