Activists storm oil rig on the 'Sea'
Aug 24, 2012 / 6:39 am
Six activists boarded the Prirazlomnaya platform in the early hours on Friday and remain on the rig, Greenpeace said in a statement. They set off in inflatable speedboats from their ship and scaled the platform with mooring lines.
The activists, which include Greenpeace's chief Kumi Naidoo, did not face much resistance from oil workers and managed to put a banner on the rig, which says: "Don't kill the Arctic."
"We're here peacefully and we will continue to draw the attention of Russian people and people around the world to what's happening there," Naidoo told The Associated Press by the telephone from the platform. "It's bad for Russia, it's bad for the planet."
Prirazlomnaya is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Russian energy giant Gazprom, which is pioneering Russia's oil drilling in the Arctic. The state-owned company installed the drilling platform there last year and is preparing to drill the first well.
Naidoo told the AP that his teams are suspended from the platform's mooring lines. He said many of the platform's employees "have been very friendly, engaging in conversations with us, asking where we come from and offering us soup."
Naidoo said the activists have been told by one of the platform employees that a coast guard helicopter is on its way to detain them.
The platform is about 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) from the nearest port, Murmansk, a city on the extreme northwestern edge of the Russian mainland.
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